There are very few things I enjoy more than attending baseball games in the summer. It’s about the most summer thing you can do (short of the beach). So with Memorial Day weekend being the unofficial start of summer what better way to celebrate then take the short trip up 270 to see the Frederick Keys. While, I love going to OPACY there is something special (and inexpensive) about going to a MiLB game. For me it’s baseball in its purest form. It’s just a bunch of guys trying to capture their dream.
On Saturday night one of those guys will be a young right hander named Dylan Bundy. However, Bundy isn’t just another pitcher with a dream of making the Orioles. For Bundy there is much more pressure than that. On Saturday when he takes the mound for Frederick Keys you’re not watching just another guy. You’re watching the future of Orioles baseball.
Very few players in any sport live up to their hype. The hype machine has crushed more players than it’s ever helped. It takes a special talent to rise above it all (i.e. LeBron James & Stephen Strasburg). It appears that the hard throwing righty (clocked at 97-98 mph) is one of those talents.
The Orioles drafted him with the 4th pick overall in the 2011 draft right out of Owasso High School in Oklahoma. To give you an idea of how prolific he was in high school in his senior year Bundy had a 0.25 ERA with 158 strikeouts in 71 innings. With his on the field feats came off the field accolades. Bundy was Oklahoma’s Gatorade State player of the year three straight years (only athlete to ever be named POY in any sport for three years from any state), and the first baseball player to win Gatorade Athlete of the Year. The Orioles signed the highly touted prospect with five minutes left before the deadline to a 5 year deal with a $4 million signing bonus.
On April 6, 2012 Bundy took the mound for the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds and hasn’t looked back since. In 30 innings of work Bundy has a 0.00 ERA with 40 strikeouts, two walks, and two unearned runs. In fact in his 30 innings hitters have a combined batting average of .053 (5 for 94). This type of dominance made it easy for Orioles GM Dan Duquette to make the call to move Bundy to High-A Frederick. Duquette was quoted saying “He’s distinguished himself within that league and it looks like he’s ready for another challenge”. That challenge will come in the form of the Salem Red Sox.
So do yourself a favor and grab the kids, or your buddies, and make your way to Frederick on Saturday night. Not only will you get to watch a baseball game on what’s supposed to be a gorgeous May night, but you get to watch a once in a lifetime talent up close and personal. If watching the future of the Orioles doesn’t sell you it’s also Fireworks night… so there’s that.