Living 35 minutes away from Harry Grove Stadium, I knew there was no way I’d let Dylan Bundy pass through Frederick without seeing him at least once. After receiving a call saying I had off work, I immediately realized I would be able to catch Bundy’s start. I hopped in my car and hurried to what I knew would be a crowded game.
The hype surrounding Bundy at the game was a bit more than I expected. But that’s not to say he doesn’t deserve it.
The parking lot was full, it took me about 30 minutes in line to purchase my ticket, and there was a large crowd of people hovered around the fence to watch Bundy’s pre-game warm-ups. Beyond that, there was also a man in a white body suit running around the stadium for superhero night. He was referred to as ‘BundyMan’ (more on this in another post).
Before I get into my observations on Bundy’s play, it’s certainly worth noting the way he carries himself. Just watching him go about his business on the field, you can see the seriousness and the “it” factor.
To begin the game, Bundy struck out the first hitter on three pitches. He blew a fastball right by Indians prospect Tony Wolters. That set the tone for the night as Bundy went on to strikeout seven more batters for a total of eight in just five innings.
To begin the third inning, Bundy once again struck out the leadoff man with a fastball — this time a 98 mph heater against Indians prospect Tyler Cannon. He also struck out the following hitter, Anthony Gallas, but this time with a curveball in the dirt.
By my count, the Indians only mustered two hard hit balls against Bundy. Both were hit directly at fielders. The double Bundy gave up was just fair down the first base line and was just out of the reach of Aaron Baker. He struck out the following hitter for the second out, but the runner would go on to score on a single (although it was an unearned run). Bundy went on to strike out the next hitter to end the inning.
Bundy’s next inning featured one runner who failed to score and another strikeout.
It doesn’t take a scout to see just how dominating Bundy is. Watching the swings hitters take against his pitches makes it easy to see how good his arsenal is.
Hitters were blown away by Bundy’s 96-98 mph fastball, flailed at his curveball in the dirt and were ridiculously early on his changeup. Bundy is this impressive even without his cutter, which is his best secondary pitch. Don tagged it with a 60 future grade prior to the draft.
Although Bundy only officially threw 5 innings in this game, he threw 15 or so pitches in the bullpen during the sixth inning.
Watching Bundy pitch was certainly a treat. I entered the stadium excited to see him throw for the first time, and even I was a bit in awe as I walked back to my car. He certainly exceeded my expectations.
I don’t mean to add more hype to a player that is already nearing Strasburg level hype. But watching a 19-year old dominate hitters who were on average three years older than him was pretty special.
To say Bundy has a lot going for him would be an understatement. The fact that excited Orioles fans pack Harry Grove Stadium every time he pitches is nice to see. If you are in the Frederick area, live close enough to drive to see him, or want to make a really, really long drive — I’d say it’s 100% worth it.
Between the crowd, his outstanding outing, and the buzz during his start, Bundy’s start turned out to be one of the most enjoyable and impressive baseball games I have ever watched.
I’ve added a gallery of photos from his start to the bottom of this post for everyone to enjoy.