Bundy is an Oriole
The Orioles expected their negotiations with Dylan Bundy to go right down to tonight’s midnight deadline for signing 2011 draft picks.
There were some anxious moments, but the Orioles agreed to terms tonight with the fourth overall pick on a major league contract. Terms aren't available at this point.
It was a successful night all around for director of amateur scouting Joe Jordan, who finalized deals with the team’s top three targets. The Orioles agreed to terms with second-rounder Jason Esposito, a third baseman out of Vanderbilt on a $600,000 deal and sixth-rounder Nick Delmonico, a Tennessee prep third baseman who was the wild card of the team’s draft because he was looking for first-round money.
Overall, the Orioles agreed to terms with 22 of their 50 picks, including nine of their top 10. Jordan said early in the process that he expected to sign about 20 of the club’s selections because the club eliminated one of its teams in the Dominican Republic, along with its Rookie-League Bluefield affiliate.
And Jordan also knew, that a big chunk of the draft budget would go to Bundy, a right-handed starter, considered the best high school arm available. Some baseball pundits labeled him as having the most upside in the draft.
The 18-year-old went 11-0 with an 0.20 ERA as a senior at Owasso High School in Oklahoma, and struck out 595 batters while posting an ERA under 1.00 during his high school career. In 71 innings as a senior, he allowed just two earned runs, 20 hits and five walks while striking out 158. As a hitter, he batted .467 with 11 homers and 54 RBIs in 105 at-bats.
The Orioles see Bundy as the potential top of the rotation starter that they have long been seeking. Known for maintaining a highly-sophisticated training and weightlifting regiment, Bundy’s fastball is in the mid-to-high 90’s, and he reportedly hit 100 miles per hour this spring. He also throws a hard cut fastball, a biting curve and a developing changeup.
Bundy, who could start at short-season Single-A Aberdeen, immediately becomes the Orioles’ top pitching prospect. He’ll also join an organization that includes his older brother, Bobby, who is currently pitching for Double-A Bowie. Bobby Bundy, an eighth-round selection in 2008, is one of the frontrunners this year for the Jim Palmer award, given annually to the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
The Orioles knew that Dylan Bundy, the 2011 Gatorade National Player of the Year, would be a tough sign. Before the draft, he made it known that he was looking for a $30 million signing bonus, which would have doubled the biggest one ever given out, the $15.1 million to phenom Stephen Strasburg by the Washington Nationals in 2009.
Asked if the $30 million figure was accurate on the night of the draft, Bundy said in a conference call with Baltimore reporters, “I guess so, huh?”
Both sides, however, knew that figure wasn’t realistic, and Jordan maintained that he didn’t plan to set any records in signing Bundy, who had committed to pitch for the University of Texas.
Jordan, who is in the final year of his contract, has signed all seven of his first-round picks since becoming the Orioles Director of Amateur Scouting.
Esposito, who agreed to a deal which is $30,000 more than the slot recommendation, batted .341 with nine homers and 59 RBIs in 65 games for a Vanderbilt team that made the College World Series. He’s considered an above-average defender at third base.
Delmonico, who was believed to be a solid commit to the University of Georgia, was considered first or second-round talent by some draft pundits, but he fell all the way to the sixth round and the 185th overall pick.
Delmonico played catcher at Farragut High School. However, the Orioles project him as a third baseman. At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Delmonico’s best tool is his bat. He batted .426 with 11 homers, 45 RBIs, 53 walks and 23 steals in leading Farragut to a fourth consecutive Class AAA state championship.
The Orioles completed their draft class by signing 26th-rounder Zach Davies, an Arizona prep pitcher who got a $575,000 deal.