LA Angels: Why Dylan Bundy is the Halos most valuable pitcher in 2021
By Alfonso Cerna
We have a few weeks before spring training is scheduled to start, and the Angels still need to add another starting pitcher. If general manager Perry Minasian does not upgrade the rotation between now and opening day, someone on the roster will have to step up. I believe Dylan Bundy can be an ace for the Halos.
Last summer, Bundy took a career-leap forward in his first season with the Angels. Although it was a small sample size, Bundy showed the promise of being a fourth overall pick by the Orioles in the 2011 MLB Draft.
After being acquired from Baltimore in an offseason trade, Bundy posted the lowest ERA and WHIP among Angels starters.
Dylan Bundy Last Five Seasons:
- 2016: (36 games) (10-6, 4.02 ERA) 109.2 IP 1.377 WHIP
- 2017: (28 games) (13-9, 4.24 ERA) 169.2 IP 1.196 WHIP
- 2018: (31 games) (8-16, 5.45 ERA) 171.2 IP 1.410 WHIP
- 2019: (30 games) (7-14, 4.79 ERA) 161.2 IP 1.355 WHIP
- 2020: (11 games) (6-3, 3.29 ERA) 65.2 IP 1.036 WHIP
The 28-year old needed a few seasons, but it looks like he is finally putting it all together. Ironically, another pitcher spent the beginning of his career in Baltimore and needed a fresh start before finding success at the age of 27. His name is Jake Arrieta.
Arrieta’s prime years are probably behind him, but he was one of baseball’s best pitchers in a four-year span (2014-2017). Bundy still has a way to go before reaching that type of elite level, but he may take that next step and toe the rubber for the Angels on opening day.
As of today, these are the active starting pitchers on the Angels active roster:
- RHP Dylan Bundy
- LHP Jose Quintana
- RHP Griffin Canning
- LHP Andrew Heaney
- LHP Patrick Sandoval
- RHP Shohei Ohtani
There’s no set rotation, but these players, along with Jaime Barria will likely compete for a spot during spring training. Unless there is a high-quality starter brought in via trade or free agency, I think Bundy is the likely ace candidate.
Dylan Bundy will carry value for the Angels on the mound, and in trade scenarios if the Halos fall out of contention this season.
Aside from being the Angels No.1, Bundy carries value in his contract as well. Bundy will make $8.33 million in 2021 before becoming a free agent at the end of the season. If the Angels fall out of contention by the trade deadline, it’s more than likely the Halos trade Bundy for future assets.
Considering the Angels have two of the league’s best players in Anthony Rendon and Mike Trout, it’s sad to think they would not go all-in every season while the duo is in their prime years. That’s the reality of all these one-year contracts. If the Angels aren’t competing, they will begin to unload players like Bundy.
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I still think owner Arte Moreno and the Angels should not settle for this current roster. Bundy might be ready for the role of an ace, but that doesn’t mean the team should not look to keep improving when there are opportunities available.