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The O’s Dylan Bundy May Be The Most Important Player in The Minors

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Not too long ago we were all dazzled by the enormous amount of talent on display at this years All-Star Futures Game, which aired on ESPN the day before the Home Run Derby. The Baltimore Orioles had two players in that showcase game: Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy. The two of them are some of the most prized commodities in the game. Although Bundy’s Futures Game performance was underwhelming, I believe he is the most important player in the minor leagues, particularly so to his organization.

The Orioles number one downfall through the years has been the health of their pitching. Just when it seemed like Baltimore was on the verge of becoming another powerhouse in the AL East with the Arrieta/Matusz/Tillman trio, they scuffled through injury (and regression) which have left fans in Baltimore wondering when their big break will be. That break may be on the way as we have seen Jake Arrieta have a breakout year and received solid production from lottery tickets like Jason Hammel. There is optimism in Baltimore, but Bundy is one of the few high ceiling talents left in the Orioles system who can make a major impact.

Bundy has three true out pitches, a rare commodity and ball all definition the making of an ‘ace’. If Bundy lives up to his projection, he will be atop the Baltimore rotation with Arrieta, and hopefully recent draftee RHP Kevin Gausman. The timetable works because Bundy is an advanced pitcher and for all intensive purposes, is in the minors to work on polish rather than reconstruction or re-learning. When Baltimore took Gausman this year, they announced that they feel they are within striking distance in the AL East as teams like Boston and New York’s stars begin to age well into their 30’s.

Hey, you could make the case that Baltimore’s biggest issue will be offense even if all of these pitchers continue to develop. That may be true, but you can always build around pitching. We have seen time and time again that teams can not only last, but thrive with three quality starters while receiving average production from their #4 & #5 starters. Baltimore also did the right thing by locking up Adam Jones to a long term deal, which filled a gap up the middle of the field.

In all honesty Baltimore has a long road to climb and many things have to go right for them to change their years of mediocrity.  Since I can remember, the Orioles haven’t had a true ace in a very very long time. Considering the lack of depth behind Bundy and Machado, the O’s are hanging their hats on the right arm of Dylan Bundy to lead them into contention.

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