Jim Thome was in Bowie last night. Not to play on an injury-rehab assignment but to watch a top prospect play. He was sent to watch Dylan Bundy make his Double-A debut and left impressed with the 19-year-old right-hander.
“His physical appearance - his arm, you know,” Thome said about Bundy. “I’m not going to tell you everything (I liked about him), but he’s got so much upside to him. He might be one of the best young pitchers I’ve seen in quite a while.
“He looks like a great pitcher. You know, he’s got a great arm. It’s fun. It was fun going down there seeing him and he’s obviously got a big and bright career ahead of him.”
Thome said he was asked to go by O’s manager Buck Showalter.
“Buck and I talked about it,” Thome said. “When your manager asks you do something, you do it. It was fun. It kind of broke up the monotony of my rehab to go down (to Bowie). Obviously you have heard a lot about (Bundy). His name has been around baseball. To see a minor league game and someone that potentially has a chance to be here in the future, it was great to go down and see where he is at.
“It shows how organized and how in tune our manager is. He doesn’t miss a beat. For him to want a veteran player to go down and scout a young guy that our organization thinks very highly of, I think it’s all a positive of how Buck thinks about the game.”
Thome said it was fun to be at a minor league ballpark and he did sign some autographs and mingle some with the Baysox fans last night.
“Whenever I’ve gone down on rehabs in the minors, the fans, they really appreciate when big leaguers come down. It’s our duty to give that love to them too,” he said.
So does Thome think Bundy could help the Orioles in September?
“That’s not my call. My thing is, he has so much ability and so much positive upside to him, but that’s for other people to decide and figure out,” Thome said.