Dylan Bundy Doesn’t Want to be a Pirate

Bundy doesn't want the Pirates to draft him.

There has been a lot of hype surrounding top prep pitcher Dylan Bundy as a candidate to go first overall in the 2011 draft.  Despite this hype, there is one person who doesn’t want to see that happen: Bundy.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, Bundy has instructed the Pirates, and several other teams, not to draft him.  The reason?  Fears that those teams will try to change his throwing program.  Bundy, along with UCLA right hander Trevor Bauer, doesn’t want to go to a team that prohibits long toss, which is an act where pitchers can throw from a distance of up to 300 feet, helping to build arm strength.

It’s been reported in the past that the Pirates are strict believers in the 120 throwing program, which limits pitchers to throwing from 120 feet, and no further.  However, the Pirates don’t prohibit long toss.  In my interview with minor league pitching coordinator Jim Benedict, I asked him about their stance on long toss:

Another philosophy or routine that has gotten a lot of attention lately with Tim Alderson is the 120 throwing program, and how you guys don’t do long toss. Do you let particular players do long toss, and escape from the 120 if they request it, and how would you deicide which players is right for which system?

We are big believers in long toss. All the way back to when I was in Montreal in the middle 90s. We threw long toss every day. I couldn’t be a bigger proponent of long toss. In a camp environment, if you have guys doing all different things, all the time, it gets a little crazy. So what we do, we go to 120, and then we isolate the longer distances. We have guys going 150, 180, 220. I have a guy going 280 right now. It’s individual. That would be a drill for us. There’s a reason for long toss to that extension point. There’s a destruction on certain mechanics with certain people, if they push or elevate, or throw it too high, things like that, that works against you. We try to keep the extension full, no matter the distance. We are huge proponents, and you see the velocities in our camp. We have numerous guys going from 92 to 97, 98, and it’s because of long toss, because of our weight work, because we throw four seamers, our velocities are up, and that’s the reason.

Benedict mentions that they have guys who go beyond the 120 mark, even up to 280 in one case.  They stick with a 120 throwing program as a group drill in camp, although that doesn’t limit players from throwing from longer distances.  The Pirates sent people to visit Bundy, according to Passan, and that’s when they were told not to draft him:

Pittsburgh sent a cadre of evaluators to Oklahoma to talk with the 18-year-old and left with Bundy’s representatives advising the Pirates not to select him. One executive asked the Bundy camp whether its demand for a six-year, $30 million major league contract – nearly twice what Stephen Strasburg received two years ago – was to scare teams off. The answer was yes.

It seems like Bundy has two negotiating tactics in play here.  First of all, he’s throwing out a huge number, which combined with a major league deal (rare for prep pitchers) indicates that he would be a tough sign.  The fact that he’s telling specific teams not to draft him could also be a negotiating ploy.  For one, it could be a method to try to get him to drop to bigger market teams, who might be more willing to give him a huge contract.  It could also be used as leverage against the Pirates if they did draft him, in an attempt to get a bigger signing bonus.

In a poll ran on the site the other day, 70% of you said that you would take Anthony Rendon first overall in the draft.  However, Bundy came in second place with over 9% of the votes, separating him from the pack as the clear #2.  There is definitely some appeal with Bundy, a guy who can throw 100 MPH.  Some have said he could pitch in the majors today, while Passan’s article mentions that he could arrive as soon as 2013 (which is also the early ETA for Jameson Taillon, which would make for a deadly 1-2 punch).  There’s even been talk that he’s better than Taillon, which would make him the number one prospect in the organization.  However, Bundy looks like he will be a tough sign, and surprisingly, might even be more difficult to sign than Anthony Rendon and Gerrit Cole, who are both Scott Boras clients.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Anonymous

    Thats fine with me, id pass

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TQC5HKTKJ52MK7PN2CBR4JIWYQ Kevin

    I think he’s the #1 talent.  Apparently so do his advisers.

    It’s a good night to watch Hultzen in Chapel Hill :) 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VTJ2T6B2E2YR7XTZYKY6ZNOEWE Andrew P

    if we fail to sign the #1, does that give us the #2 next year then as comp?  what does next year’s class even look like? with the lack of consensus #1 out there, the injury concerns with Renton, and the massive pitch counts and innings for the 3 pitchers, punting may not be a terrible idea. better than blowing $15m and a #1 overall on a bryan bullington or matt bush. hell even beckham is looking like a bad #1.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740167494 Mike Adamson

       Sorry I guess I should’ve scrolled down. Great minds think alike.

  • Anonymous

    Apparently whatever the Bucco’s told him and his advisors about their willingness to consider letting him continue his long toss routine didn’t convince him/his camp.   Or they did convince him they’d let him continue that and he’s using this as a ploy.  Either way if he doesn’t want to be a Pirate don’t pick him, this organization has enough crap to deal with than a big shot prospect who doesn’t want to be here.  IMHO

  • http://twitter.com/hoakypoaky Ben

    Too much risk involved with taking a HS pitcher #1 overall, especially in this draft.   Our system getting loaded with good pitching already.  Makes the most sense to take the best college bat available.  Take Rendon if he passes physical.

  • Anonymous

    If the Pirates want to draft the best player then take Starling. Three years from now people will be amazed that he was passed over. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OGCKUSO5MA5VUCJHW2YSJ2K3TM Bob

    This kid is a young punk, asking for $30 million, yea right.  Strasburg was a college level pitcher hitting 100 mph and got half?  This kid is not only a punk but also dillusional.  I don’t want him anyways, would rather have Rendon or Cole.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740167494 Mike Adamson

    Well I dont know if the top draft prospects will be better next year but if the Pirates draft Bundy with the 1st this year and he doesn’t sign then you get the 2nd next year. right? I guess what I’m saying is if you you knew ther was a Stasburg and Harper coming out next year that could be a decent strategy! 

  • j_chulz

    Tim I would like to know what you think of the possibility of taking Trevor Bauer out of UCLA. Pretty much everything I’ve read has him in the top 4 or 5, and to me, he is a very interesting player. They say his stuff is only above-average and he only throws in the mid-90’s, yet he has that ridiculous K’s number? Not to mention great numbers across the board? Now I haven’t paid too much attention to any of these guys, but to me that sounds like a guy that naturally knows how to pitch, how to use what he’s got. Also haven’t heard anything too negative about him (aka Bundy’s demands, Rendon’s injuries) The obvious drawback is the “lower ceiling” than the others and possible fan outlash at not taking Rendon or Cole, but what fans like isn’t always what’s best

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