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LA Angels acquire middle of the rotation pitcher Dylan Bundy for four low-level prospects

Dylan Bundy, Los Angeles Angels, (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Dylan Bundy, Los Angeles Angels, (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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LA Angels general manager Billy Eppler fired his first shot in improving the Angels pitching staff and it was a good one, but hopefully it will not be his last.

The LA Angels made a deal with the Baltimore Orioles Wednesday to trade four low-level pitching prospects to the Orioles in exchange for a middle-of the rotation starter Dylan Bundy. For the Orioles, Bundy was one of their top two starters on what has been a train wreck the last couple of season for Baltimore. Will he be able to find himself in Anaheim remains to be seen, but it was worth the risk.

The Angels gave up four pitching prospects, three of which have not made it past Single-A Kyle Brnovich, Kyle Bradish, and Zach Peek. Isaac Mattson is a reliever skyrocketed from Single-A to Triple-A last season and may be the best pitcher in the deal, although Bradish has tremendous potential.  The other two prospects Peek and Brnovich were 6th and 8th round picks respectively in 2019, but have yet to pitch in the minor leagues after being drafted in June.

Mattson is not considered to be a high prospect, but did have a very good year moving up from Inland Empire to Salt Lake City in one season compiling a 2.33 ERA in his three stops and striking out 13.3 batters per nine innings of work while only walking 3.3 batters per nine innings.

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Bradish had a solid, yet inconsistent first season in Single-A for the Angels after being drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 draft out of New Mexico State University. Bradish went 6-7 with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP in 101 innings pitched in 2019 striking out 120 batters and walking 53.  His strikeouts per nine innings was stellar at 10.7 however his 4.7 walks per nine innings is a little higher than you would like.

Having seen both Mattson and Bradish pitch multiple times in Single-A Inland Empire I  was impressed by both, but Bradish needs to stay healthy and to find consistency. Mattson however was very impressive and could have been in the bullpen mix for the Angels sometime in 2020.

However, the Angels have a plethora of young arms in their bullpen so losing Mattson was not a big deal. Although he could turn into an effective closer in a few years maybe sooner.

So what about Dylan Bundy. His numbers are not super-impressive especially in 2019. Bundy went 7-14 with a 4.79 ERA and his WHIP was 1.355.  What was impressive is his 162 strikeouts in 161.2 innings (one batter per inning). Overall Bundy has a 38-45 record in 103 career starts with a 4.67 career ERA and 602 strikeouts in 614 innings of work with a .257 opponents batting average.  The main thing that Angel fans should be worried about is the number of home runs Bundy gave up in the past three seasons 26, 41, and 29.

His first two seasons with the Orioles Bundy looked strong and like he could be an ace going 23-15 with a 4.16 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.  The Angels are banking on a change of scenery and new pitching coach Mickey Callaway being able to turn Bundy around. We will have to see what happens.

The good part about acquiring Bundy is his relatively low-cost as he only earned 2.8 million in 2019 and will make close to 5.7 million for 2020 and he still has two more years of club control (2020 and 202 before he can become a free agent. Bundy will probably be the Angels number four or number five starter in 2020 depending on where the Angels slate Griffin Canning. Andrew Heaney and Shohei Ohtani will fall in at #2 and #3 or vice-versa provided the Angels sign an ace like Stephen Strausburg or Gerrit Cole.  But that is not for sure yet, but this is a good start and a cost-effective one at that could set the stage for a run at the those two top names.

Next. Who will Billy Eppler get to fill Angels pitching void?

Let’s see how everything plays out over the next couple of weeks leading up to New Year’s.  Hopefully Billy Eppler will give Angel fans an early Christmas gift of Cole or Strausburg.  Stay Tuned!!!!

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