High-A All-Star Game Notes: Bundy Brilliant

Winston-Salem, N.C. -- The All-Star game featuring the match-up between the Carolina and California League's top talents is one of more interesting events on the baseball calendar. This year's game was even more intriguing, however, with the presence of super prospect, Dylan Bundy. In this edition of scouting notes, we take a look at his performance on Tuesday, as well as several other prospects.

Bundy Shows Effortless Brilliance

There's just something a little bit different about Orioles prospect Dylan Bundy. His physical skills, including a fastball that reaches 98 mph, obviously jump off the page. But it's the effortless nature of his game and how mature and consistent he is that makes him arguably the game's best pitching prospect.

After I saw his performance in Tuesday's All-Star game, it's actually difficult to see someone making a case that he isn't the best young pitcher in the minors. Bundy worked at 95-97 mph with his fastball, touching 98 on a few different guns behind the plate. Although his command really stood out, just how easily he generated that type of explosive velocity is something that hasn't been seen too often by evaluators.

"I've seen young kids hit 97-98 mph, but it's just too easy for him," said one scout in attendance. "This isn't just a good pitching prospect, this is a special, special guy."

That type of sentiment among scouts seems to essentially be the consensus. And I can't help but fully agree. Bundy put his fastball wherever he wanted in this outing, and he has also clearly addressed one of his perceived weaknesses, his changeup. Throwing the change at 84-86 mph, he went to it to start hitters off, threw it to righties and even threw it behind in counts. Because of his aggressiveness with his moving fastball and his use of his changeup, he essentially didn't even use his above-average breaking ball.

So, let's look at the total package. Bundy has a powerful 6-foot-2 frame, a picture-perfect delivery, a well-spotted 97 mph fastball that he generates with the greatest of ease, and two excellent secondary offerings. In other words, after getting a first hand look, Bundy is indeed one of the very rare pitchers that you can put that coveted ace stamp on and be very confident in doing so.

Scouting Notes

- Bundy wasn't the only pitcher bringing upper 90's heat to the mound on Tuesday night in Winston-Salem. Braves prospect J.R. Graham sat steadily at 96-97 mph and mixed in a solid-average slider at 86-88 mph. Considering his ability to miss bats with his fastball, if he can show any consistency with his secondary pitches he could be a future closer. He is currently starting, but given his frame and arsenal, it still seems like his ultimate role is in the back of a big league bullpen.

- Red Sox prospect Travis Shaw proved to everyone in attendance prior to the game that he has monstrous raw power. During batting practice, the lefty slugger deposited ball after ball well beyond the outfield fences and some clear out of the stadium. When the game began, he made it abundantly clear that he was capable of carrying it over into live action as well. He took a 92 mph fastball off lefty Tyler Matzek and hit it out of the stadium over the right field stands. The Red Sox have a very legitimate slugging lefty prospect on their hands.

- Looking at Athletics prospect Miles Head take batting practice, I saw a lot of Carlos Quentin in the approach and swing. He's a very strong young hitter and uses his torso and lower half very well in his swing.

- Padres prospect Rymer Liriano took one of the most impressive overall batting practice rounds on Tuesday. He showed a sound approach, hitting the ball to the middle of the field, as well as consistent carry to his pull side. He has one of the fastest bats on either roster.

- Rangers prospect Cody Buckel was probably the second-most impressive pitcher to throw on Tuesday night. He worked at at 92-94 mph with his fastball and went to a cutter at 87-89 as his main secondary pitch. The thing you notice about Buckel is the liveliness of his fastball and some of the weak swings he induces.

Stay tuned in the coming days, as we will have featured reports on other prospects who participated in this All-Star game.

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