Down On The Farm, Bundy Is Untouchable
By Matt Palmer
The Orioles didn't think they were taking a risk when they selected Dylan Bundy with the fourth overall pick in the 2011 first-year player draft, and he's proving them right.
Though May 7, Bundy had given up only two hits and an unearned run for the Class A Delmarva Shorebirds, while fanning 33 opposing batters. Bundy's otherworldly domination makes him a likely promotion to Class A Frederick and possibly Double A Bowie before the season ends. The Orioles, while fast-tracking the 19-year-old, are not in a rush.
The Keys, the defending Mills Cup champion out of the Carolina League, are actually struggling more from the plate and entrenched at the bottom of the Northern Division. First baseman Mike Flacco, younger brother of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, was moved up to Bowie after hitting .258 with five RBIs during 20 games.
Bowie was second to last in the Eastern League Western Division May 10. Bundy's brother, Bobby, is struggling after being named the Orioles minor league pitcher of the year in 2011. By May 10, he had walked 16 batters during seven games and was 2-5.
Manny Machado, the Orioles' 2010 first-round pick, was batting .264 through May 9, with 12 extra-base hits and 12 RBIs. Machado has been on a slow and steady progression through the farm system and the Orioles don't appear to be in a hurry to rush him to the majors, where J.J. Hardy has become one of the best shortstops in the game and perhaps the best power-hitting player at the position.
If he comes up to Baltimore at the end of the season, Machado could play a bit at third base. Dan Duquette, Orioles vice president of baseball operations, has said Machado needs to figure out whether or not he is going to be a shortstop.
If the Orioles continue to get subpar pitching from Brian Matusz, it might be difficult to find a suitable arm to replace him. Brad Bergesen and Chris Tillman, once linchpins of the Baltimore starting rotation, have struggled mightily in Norfolk.
Second baseman Bill Hall hit safely during nine of 10 games with the Tides, spanning from late April to early May. Six of his 13 hits during that time were singles, four were doubles and two were home runs. He made his debut in Baltimore May 12, hitting an eighth-inning home run to help lead the Orioles to a 5-3 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Issue 173: May 2012