There's really no question about it, barring injury, Dylan Bundy will be in a Baltimore Orioles uniform at some point in the 2013 season. However, there is much speculation of when we will see the phenom in the majors.
In his first season as a professional in 2012, the fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft lived up to the high expectations.
Bundy started off in Single-A Delmarva, where his performance was that of Danny Almonte in the 2000 Little League World Series. In eight starts, he went 30 innings, allowing only five hits, two walks, two unearned runs and struck out 40. Calling Bundy unhittable in Single-A was not an overstatement.
After a promotion to Advanced-A Frederick, the then 19-year-old continued to impress. In 12 starts, he pitched to a 6-3 record, going 57 innings, with a 2.83 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. His numbers in Frederick were not as unreal as they were in Delmarva, but they were still good enough for a promotion to Double-A Bowie in mid-August.
In his limited time at Bowie, Bundy went 2-0 in three starts, despite control issues. In only 16.2 innings he allowed eight walks, along with 14 hits and six earned runs.
Fans were then treated to a preview of the future when the teenager was promoted to the majors on September 19, 2012. In the last couple of weeks of the season, Bundy made a couple of relief appearances, going three scoreless innings.
Since the end of the Orioles' 2012 season, there has been much debate on when we will see the Orioles' top prospect and Baseball America's second top prospect in the majors for good. Projections have been all over the board for Bundy in 2013, from a couple of late September starts, to basically a full season. In all likelihood, it will likely be the former. But, it really depends on circumstances that the prospect can't control.
Bundy will most likely start the 2013 regular season off in Double-A Bowie, as reported by Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun. After maybe ten or so starts, assuming he pitches well, Bundy will be promoted to Triple-A Norfolk. That's where the 20-year-old will wait until he gets the call.
If the Orioles are struggling in the starting pitching department, whether or not the team is winning or losing, Bundy could be promoted sometime in July or August. However, if the Orioles' starters are pitching adequately, he will have to wait until September.
The Orioles have plenty of options at starting pitching and Bundy is only 20 years old. He will be on a pitch count during games, and he will have an innings count during the season, so it's not likely that Bundy will be a deciding factor in whether or not the Orioles will be successful in 2013.
Perhaps, if the Orioles make a run to a postseason, Bundy could be used out of the bullpen similarly to how David Price was used in Tampa's 2008 World Series run.
How many starts will Dylan Bundy get with the Orioles in 2013?
Overall, the are a large number of scenarios that could unfold in 2013 for Dylan Bundy. The most likely one is that he is a September call-up and given the opportunity to make a few starts, with limited innings. He'll likely pitch well, with perhaps one or two bad outings elevating his final ERA. But in 2014, Bundy will likely still be eligible to win Rookie of the Year.
Final Projection: 6 GS, 30 innings, 2W-1L, 14 earned runs, 29 hits, 10 walks, 25 Ks, 4.20 ERA, 1.30 WHIP