When the LA Angels traded four low-level prospects to the Baltimore Orioles for Dylan Bundy, it looked as if they were simply grabbing a mid-rotation/backend starter. However, a move to Anaheim could make Bundy an even better starter in 2020.
Before we really get into this, the one thing LA Angels fans will love immediately about Dylan Bundy is his durability. He has averaged 30 starts per season over the past three years, and has thrown at least 160 innings in each of those seasons.
On top of his durability, Bundy has the resume as a former first round pick, paired with being just 27-years old. Both of those point towards possible improvement as Bundy enters the prime years of his career. But even if his talents don’t take a boost, he provides an excellent floor for the Angels to bank on.
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What might take Bundy from average to exceptional is simply the change in scenery he’ll undergo. Think about this: Dylan Bundy will go from pitching in New York, Boston, and Baltimore to playing divisional games in Oakland, Anaheim, Texas, and Seattle.
Yankees Stadium is notorious for its short porch in right field. Hitting a fly ball in Boston results in a home run as long as it’s to left field. Bundy’s home park of Baltimore is well-known as a hitter’s ballpark as well. On the opposite spectrum, Oakland is where fly balls go to die ten feet short of the fence. Anaheim and Seattle grade out as very pitcher friendly.
Basically, the theory here is that if you take Dylan Bundy, who was an average MLB pitcher while pitching in a division with famously hitter-friendly ballparks, and place him in the AL West where the majority of ballparks favor pitchers, his numbers will only improve.
On top of a favorable change of scenery, there’s also the idea that when a player is put in a competitive environment, their best versions of themselves come out. For years now in Baltimore, they have been actively tanking. While the Angels haven’t been any sort of superteam, everything they’ve done this offseason points to them being a competitive baseball team in 2020. That doesn’t guarantee Bundy to take a huge leap in production, but it certainly can’t hurt to have Bundy’s competitive edge at an all-time high.
Am I guaranteeing Dylan Bundy to transform into a #2 or #3 pitcher in 2020? Not at all. That being said, it wouldn’t surprise me if Bundy outperforms his career averages upon his arrival in Anaheim.