Wednesday afternoon, the Los Angeles Angels acquired their first starting pitcher of the offseason.
It wasn’t Gerrit Cole. Nor Stephen Strasburg. Not Madison Bumgarner either. The Angels acquired 27-year-old right-hander Dylan Bundy from the Baltimore Orioles minor league pitchers Isaac Mattson, Kyle Bradish, Zach Peek, and Kyle Brnovich.
Bundy, the fourth overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft, has pitched four full seasons in his MLB career to the tune of a 4.67 ERA. He’s struck out 602 batters in 614.1 innings, walking 206.
The Angels are hopeful Bundy’s introduction to Anaheim’s new pitching coach Mickey Callaway could develop the still young pitcher into an MLB ace.
There’s still a lot of upside with Bundy. While he may not have a 100 miles-per-hour fastball that he had on draft day, he still throws hard and is a developing arm.
Callaway’s job will be to continue to develop Bundy’s control and ability to better deceive his opponents. His mid-90s fastball will continue to work more to his advantage when engaging hitters effectively with his mid-70s breaking ball. The Angels are surely hopeful the change of scenery is just what Bundy needs.
Bundy’s already dealt with his Tommy John surgery and recovery and has pitched four healthy seasons in the majors. That’s more than many of the Angels’ current or recent starters could say. Bundy doesn’t have to be the ace of this staff. He can come into 2020 as a back of the rotation starter that gives the Angels far more depth than before.
The Oklahoma native will join fellow Okie Andrew Heaney in an Angels rotation that also features the return of Shohei Ohtani, 2019 rookie Griffin Canning and hopefully at least one of the big three remaining free-agent starters. Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, and Madison Bumgarner all remain targets for the Angels.
In return for Bundy, Baltimore acquires four young pitchers from the Angels led by Isaac Mattson and Kyle Bradish. Mattson rose from High-A Inland Empire to Triple-A Salt Lake during the 2019 season excelling at every level. He had a combined ERA of 2.33 over 73.1 innings all out of the bullpen. He struck out 110 opponents while walking just 27 over those three levels. Mattson wrapped up his outstanding year in the Arizona Fall League where he pitched another 10.2 innings striking out 12, walking three, and finishing with a 1.67 ERA in the Arizona Fall League.
Kyle Bradish is a top-25 Angels prospect who was drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 draft out of New Mexico State. Bradish made his professional debut at High-A Inland Empire and finished the year with 6-7 record with 4.28 ERA across 101 innings in which he struck out 120 hitters.
Zach Peek was a sixth-round draft pick and Kyle Brnovich was an eighth-round pick in this year’s MLB draft. Peek drafted out of Winthrop University and Brnovich from Elon College.