Though he is still a bit raw and does not have the same dominant numbers at Double-A Bowie as he did at low Single-A Delmarva, 19-year-old Dylan Bundy could find himself in the midst of a Major League pennant race when rosters are expanded in September.
The Baltimore Orioles already showed they are not afraid to throw a top prospect into the pennant race heat when they summoned phenom Manny Machado from Bowie earlier in August. Bundy, who is the seventh-best prospect in baseball according to MLB.com and was No. 1 overall on Baseball America’s 2012 Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects List, boasts an electric fast ball that could play well in the Orioles bullpen.
Bundy’s long-term future is, of course, as a top of the rotation starting pitcher. He has a fast ball, a slider, a curve ball and a change-up in his arsenal, and he features excellent command.
Including Bundy, here are five of the top right-handed starting pitching prospects in baseball:
Whether he makes his Major League debut this season remains to be seen, but Bundy undoubtedly has a chance to impact the Orioles rotation as soon as next season. Bundy has rapidly climbed Baltimore’s farm system.
He opened the season at Delmarva, where he overmatched hitters by not allowing an earned run and surrendering just five hits in 30 innings. His batting average against was a remarkable .053.
At advanced Single-A Delmarva, he posted a .233 opponent’s batting average and a 2.84 ERA in 12 starts and recently made his Double-A debut. In two outings, he has a 3.18 ERA and a .238 batting average against.
Drafted in the first round (28th overall) out of high school in 2008 by the New York Yankees, Cole said, “Thanks, but no thanks” and opted to pitch for UCLA. it was a risk because the Yankees were believed to be willing to offer the right-hander a $4 million bonus, but he followed agent Scott Boras’ advice and went to college.
Cole made a name for himself at UCLA and was selected second overall in 2010 by the Pirates. Today, the 21-year-old Cole is rated as the eighth-best prospect in the game by MLB.com and was No. 6 on Baseball America’s 2012 mid-season list.
The Pirates are contenders again, but their rotation is laden with injury-prone veterans like A.J. Burnett and Erik Bedard, so the presence of Cole and Jameson Taillon (who is also profiled in this column) will bolster the long-term strength of their rotation.
The third overall pick of the 2011 draft out of UCLA, Bauer is the sixth-best prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com.
The 21-year-old right-hander had a cup of coffee with the Diamondbacks earlier this season, struggling with a 1-2 record and a 6.06 ERA in four starts.
Bauer has a 2.33 ERA between Mobile and Reno this season, including a 4-1 record and a 2.85 ERA in 11 starts in Triple-A.
The centerpiece, for the Miami Marlins at least, in the trade deadline deal that sent Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to the Detroit Tigers, Turner will make his Marlins debut on Wednesday, according to Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen.
Since he was acquired in last month’s trade, the 21-year-old Turner 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in five starts for Triple-A New Orleans after posting a 4-2 record and a 3.16 ERA at Triple-A Toledo in the Tigers system.
He opened the year at advanced Single-A Lakeland, where he logged a 1.66 ERA in four starts. Turner was also 1-1 with a 8.03 ERA in three starts with the Tigers.
The second overall pick of the 2010 draft by the Pirates out of high school, the 20-year-old Taillon is a a sturdy right-hander who is on the fast track to the majors. He was No. 15 on Baseball America’s 2012 mid-season list and is ranked the fifth-best prospect in baseball by MLB.com.
Featuring a fast ball, curve ball, slider and change-up – all of which he throws for strikes – Taillon was recently promoted to Double-A Altoona after recording a 3.82 ERA and a .230 batting average against, allowing 109 hits in 125 innings in 23 starts at advanced Single-A Bradenton in the challenging Florida State League.