As we get closer to the draft there become more and more issues with how the draft order is going to go down. There is a case for just about anyone within the top 5 or even 6 picks to go #1 potentially. There isn’t a closer cut guy like there has been the past few years in Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg. It was thought at the beginning of the season that it would be slugger Anthony Rendon. Then Gerrit Cole quickly jumped the ladder, and in many eyes, eclipsed Rendon as the #1 talent in the draft.
However, in the past 4, 5 weeks Cole has struggled on the mound with results. His fastball still sitting mid to high 90s and the quality of his pitches haven’t necessarily diminished so much as they’ve just been hittable. He still profiles to be a top of the rotation ace, however the results just haven’t come.
Rendon’s stock has been falling due not just to the lack of results on the field, in the same way as Cole, but also due to the concern with his shoulder. Whispers of a possible torn rotator cuff have been swirling about several different sites but his medical reports have yet to be released to any teams so it’s important to remember that nothing has been substantiated. But, as David Rawnsley of Perfect Game so aptly puts it “the realization that Rendon has had major injuries for three straight years. That’s what you call a track record.”
As I said previously you could potentially make a case for any one of the Fransico Linor, Bubba Starling, Danny Hultzen and even Trevor Bauer. But the guy that I’m convinced needs to be taken very seriously as the #2 pick is Oklahoma high school pitcher Dylan Bundy.
Bundy isn’t your typical high school pitcher. He shows a tremendous amount of polish and some even say he’s a better pitcher now than last year’s #2 overall pick Jameson Taillon. Keith Law says “Bundy is the high school pitcher who’s just like a college pitcher in stuff, feel for pitching and physical maturity.”
Dylan Bundy, of Owasso High School in Oklahoma, isn’t insanely tall in stature, standing 6’1 and because of that he doesn’t have huge projectability but that’s alright as he already has a big time four seam fastball that generates easy velocity in the mid to high 90s, some scouts have even reported it touching triple digits at time. Most often it sits about 93-96 with great movement in on a right handed batter. It’s a pitch that he consistently throws and maintains decent but ultimately average command and control. It’s not unusual for someone that throws as hard as Bundy to not have all of
Using the scouting grade scale I’ve seen people grade his four seamer from 50-55, right now. He also his out pitch, a hard curve ball, grades out about 45-50 with aspirations of being a knock out pitch for me but some have speculated that it’s the best curve among the high school pitchers.
He mixes a cut fastball in with his four seamer with the pitch floating between from the high 80’s to low 90’s this is an effort to do two things. 1) Help him get away from the slider he used to throw and 2) Help him change speeds and put more focus on the four seam fastball.
He also has a change which is simply average, but most kids at his age don’t even have an average change and it’s a credit to him that he uses it. Maybe not as much as he should but it has good depth and movement it could also be a solid weapon against left handers.
His mechanics are clean and while he does have a few little “quirks” as they are mention they aren’t much more than things that can be cleaned up and they pose no threat to his arm health. Orioles nation has an amazing break down that I’ll share with you…
Bundy’s arm slot in the loading phase is a little stretched and he goes beyond the 90 degree angle with the hand. It is only slight and depending on coaching it could remain the same. His arm slot does add a bit of pressure, but nothing alarming of inverted problems. As he transitions phases the elbow and hand placement is in a slot with very little shoulder impact beyond normal conditions. He has a solid line with shoulders and elbows that reduce the overall impact on the girdle.
He does have a lot of traits of a power pitcher with a solid tuck and a powerful stride to go with a smooth and seemingly effortless approach. He gets a great amount of push from the lower half and it shows you why he can reach the upper 90′s. He is a downhill thrower with limited “wasted motion” and a solid plant foot. His slot changes from ¾ to overhead at times, but this will be easily worked out as a professional. He could use a bit more follow through and finish the delivery better, and doing so may improve his command. It is not a major issue, but every pitcher can tweak these little things to command the ball a bit more.
I’ve seen a lot of comparisons of Bundy to that of Josh Beckett (as well as a few Chad Billingslys’). Who has a very comparable aresnal and worked his way quickly through the minor league system of the Florida Marlins in only two years to the big leagues. Now, I wouldn’t put that time table on Bundy but I’ve seen a lot of people say he wouldn’t take much time in the minor leagues. This year at high school he is strike outing over 60% of batters he faces!!
I know a lot of people talk about a Felix, Pineda, Paxton, Walker, Cole rotation would be crazy but a Felix, Pineda, Paxton, Walker, Bundy rotation would be on the same level and while Cole may have the potential to be only a little over year away it’s not like Bundy is that much off the beat. I believe he could compete for a spot in the rotation by 2014.
I know the big “time table” for the current front office is 2013 and there are rumors that because of that the front office “needs” to select Anthony Rendon or Gerrit Cole. But, see I don’t quiet believe fully believe that.
I like Rendon, I like him a lot. I think that if the Mariners have a shot at him they need to pull the trigger but with Cole I’m a lot less certain. I have a hard time buying into a no-results theory. If you have good stuff there most often is something that points to that. But his current 4.00 FIP doesn’t instill a lot of faith.
Even more questions for me is what happens with the Mariners do open up Anthony Rendon’s medical folders and look at the shoulder and see something more concerning than what has been speculated. What if it’s a labrum tear or something that puts him on a time table beyond 2 years. Do we still want to stick with him?
I’m not saying that Dylan Bundy is a slam dunk by any means. But if the Mariners front office are starting to question either Cole or Rendon I’m saying they need to consider Bundy at #2. My faith in Lindor is shaky and I’m a bit underwhelmed at some of the overall reports I’ve read about him.
A can lined statement profile reads something like “Amazing glove, questions at the bat but has amazing tools across the board and will grow into his talent and could even project above average power.” This is not a 2011 Mariners front office pick. That is a 2006 Mariners front office pick. This front office goes after “baseball rats”. Guys that spend time and time and more time working on baseball and their skills stick out because of that.
Bundy is my #3 on the big board with only Rendon (1) and Cole (2) behind him and to be quiet honest I’m starting to wavier on whether I wouldn’t rather having Cole or Bundy in the system.I understand drafting a high schooler is risky and even more so when you start looking at early on in the draft.
As luck would have it, as I started writing this yesterday links started coming out about the Pirates interest him. Is it just a way of driving down Cole or Rendon’s price tags? I don’t know. Maybe they are just being put together due to all the excessive scouting that goes into just about any top-5 guy around this time. The pirates could even draft Bundy and give the Mariners their choice between Cole and Rendon.
For those that want see some video you can go here or baseball beginnings has some video of him here. What do you think? If you were to remove Rendon and Cole who is your #3 guy? What happens if Rendon AND Cole drop to you, who do you go with?