When the Baltimore Orioles promoted top positional prospect Manny Machado last week, there was a lot of debate as to whether the 20-year-old infielder was ready for the big leagues after just 928 minor league plate appearances. He has proven them right so far, but what is beyond debate is that the Orioles acted aggressively, which brought up the obvious question: If Machado, why not Dylan Bundy?
For those who have missed it, Bundy is the 19-year-old phenom who has taken the lower levels of the minor leagues by storm. The fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft had a 0.00 ERA in eight starts for low Class A Delmarva, and while he was more of a mortal at high Class A Frederick, he was bumped up to Double-A Bowie with a 1.92 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 84 1/3 total innings this season.
His fastball sits in the mid-to-upper 90s and both his curveball and changeup are advanced, and for much of the season he hasn't been allowed to throw his low 90s cutter, which many believe is his best pitch. For many, Bundy is the best pitching prospect in baseball.
And when you look at all the circumstances, ranging from the Orioles' unlikely playoff odds to Bundy's current innings count, it's pretty clear that Baltimore should figure out a way to use him in the majors down the stretch. In fact, the O's division rival gave them a template just a few years ago.