SALISBURY, Md. - It is hard to find someone that has seen Dylan Bundy pitch this year that is not raving about his talent and work ethic. The Orioles' 2011 first-round draft pick has pitched nine hitless and shutout innings in three outings so far for the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds as he prepares tonight to face Greenville at 7:05 at Perdue Stadium in his fourth professional start.
Delmarva manager Ryan Minor has seen a lot of young hot shots come along over the years and said Bundy, it seems, can stack up with just about any of them.
"Even through my playing days, this is one of the most polished guys I've seen," the Shorebirds skipper said in his office a few minutes ago. "It seems effortless for him and you don't realize he is throwing as hard as he does, whether it's 97, 98, touching 99 mph or whatever. It doesn't look like that because he is not a max effort guy. He's got a good, consistent delivery with good balance.
"He's only thrown a handful of curveballs, but a couple of those have been off the charts as well. I think, in all the years that I've been in the game, this is one of the most polished high school arms that I've seen in a long time.
"He's going to be a special one. He exudes confidence and is a quality person in addition to being a good player."
Tonight, in a marquee pitching matchup, Bundy faces Greenville's Matt Barnes, the No. 19 pick in Round 1 last year by Boston and a hurler with 16 shutout innings to his credit this season.
Bundy is getting a lot of attention so far, much more than any of his Shorebirds teammates, but Minor said that has not been an issue in the Delmarva clubhouse.
"It is playing out just fine, because he is a good teammate," Minor said. "The guys like him. I think they know what he has done in the past and his background and being drafted so high. In a way, it takes some pressure of those guys. They are going out, putting their work in and putting up some good numbers under the radar a bit. But it will come for those guys because most of them have done a very good job."
In fact, the young Shorebirds are off to a 9-8 start and are third in the 14-team South Atlantic League in runs scored and team ERA. They would have a better record if not for a 2-6 mark in one-run games.
Minor said despite his first-round status and eye-opening stats, the 19-year-old Bundy has managed to become just another guy on his team and certainly does not have an ego to match his press clippings.
"Absolutely not, I have yet to see it and probably won't from this kid," Minor said. "Being around him since spring training, he's never late and usually the first one out to get stuff done. The other players see his work ethic.
"He's the opposite of that (an ego problem). You look at his brother (Bobby, who is with Double-A Bowie), he's the same way. I'm sure his parents raised him the right way. He gets a lot of press and attention but he takes it all in stride.
"He is one of those guys that comes along every once in a while. Maybe it happens some in other organizations, but I haven't seen it in this one in a while. Of course, he hasn't faced adversity yet. He did walk one guy (his last start) and he was upset about that, by the way. He talked the most about that after the game, walking that guy."
Check back here later tonight for coverage of Bundy's start. We will find out here tonight if Greenville, which is 7-10 and ranks 10th in the league in runs scored, can become the first team this year to score and/or get a hit off Bundy.