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Q&A with 2011 first round pick Dylan Bundy

Bundy joined some elite company when he was named the Gatorade National Male Player of the Year.

Not too long ago the Baltimore Orioles invested their future in stud high school pitcher Dylan Bundy when they used the No. 4 overall pick in the first-year player draft to take him. A few days ago the Orioles signed him just minutes before the signing deadline.

Bundy is an elite talent and has the potential to be the Orioles ace for years to come. It’s no easy journey getting to the major leagues but his has officially started and the mere mention of his name gives a lot of Orioles fans hope in the next few years.

Recently I had the privilege of talking to him about his journey so far.

Corey Johns: How do you feel now that you’re a professional baseball player?

Dylan Bundy: Of course it feels amazing. To pursue something that I’ve wanted to do since I was a little boy it’s been the biggest dream to be a professional baseball player and now that I am a professional baseball player it’s a really cool thing.

CJ: Does it make it more special that you’re going to be going through the same minor league organization as your brother?

DB: Yea you can say that definitely. What are the chances that two brothers get to go to the same organization and reach the highest level of baseball?

CJ: What kinds of things has he talked to you about what do expect and how it’s different? What kind of advice has he given you?

DB: The people you’re going to run into. The location of your fastball; it needs to be low in the zone, in and out, change speeds, get a rhythm going. He really just talks to me about pitching mainly. He enjoys it. He loves it. The only thing that’s hard for him is the eight hour bus rides and getting off the bus and getting six hours of sleep and then pitching at night, that’s pretty tough. That part of baseball.

CJ: How happy are you that now all the contract stuff is over and you can just focus on getting ready for your career?

DB: That’s great now that all that’s set aside and now I can focus on what I want to go and that’s play in the big leagues, pitch, and win games. So I can start on that and hopefully get their pretty soon.

CJ: How much contact did the Orioles organization have with you before the draft?

DB: Going into the senior season in February we didn’t think about going in the top four or five at all but half way through the season they were talking about it and I heard rumors that the top 10 teams were interested and then two or three weeks before the draft I heard the top five teams were interested. I was throwing harder and I was getting all my pitches over for strikes and teams were liking that.

The Orioles, I think they talked to me pretty much the same as any team, really.

CJ: When did you really start realizing that you could become that high of a draft pick and the fourth pick was a real possibility?

DB: My freshman year I got to see my brother get drafted in the eighth round and I set a goal saying I wanted to be in the top five round my freshman year and then my sophomore year at the end of it, my sophomore summer I started throwing 92, 93, and hitting 95 and 96 every now and then and I decided I wanted to be a first rounder and I set my goals to do that and my junior and senior year I just had to compete and win games and pitch hard and it happened.

CJ: What would you say your biggest strength is right now?

DB: I’d say the mindset I have on the mound and fastball command that I have will probably be the biggest strengths I have. Every coach, every pitching coordinator I’ve talked to say the biggest thing about pro baseball is locating your fastball first and second pitch to get it over for a strike and get ahead in the count and I’ve done that well so far.

CJ: What do will you be focusing on working on?

DB: Working low in the zone in during the games and in your pens and working low in the zone with every single pitch; I love working low in the zone with every single pitch and getting strike when you need to.

CJ: You joined some pretty big company when you won the Gatorade National Player of the Year award, what does that accomplishment mean to you?

DB: It means a lot. I’m very blessed to get that award. To be on the same list of names as some of the people who won it is crazy to think about. It’s pretty amazing.

DB: It hasn’t changed my life that much at all. I started getting some awards, not to sound cocky, I started to get some awards my senior season and the players were always joking around with me saying I win every award and when I finally got Male Athlete of the Year they were just like “it’s just another award no big deal.” But to me that won was pretty special to get the Male Athlete of the Year.

CJ: What’s the schedule for you now?

DB: I’m in the GCL right now, the Gulf Coast League, working out, throwing bullpens, getting used to things. The instructional league starts in the middle of September and I will hopefully throw 10 to 20 innings.

CJ: Who told you that you were drafted?

DB: Me and Archie Bradley [the seven overall pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks], we had a little draft get together in a big hotel in Tulsa, me and my parents put together and we had 200 or 300 people there at a hotel and we had a bunch of TVs set up and we were watching the draft so I got to see it on TV.

CJ: Who has talked to you the most from the Orioles and who has been working with you the most throughout your entire youth career?

My brother has been the most contact I’ve had to the organization. I talk to Bobby the most but definitely the biggest mentor and the guy who leads me the most and helps with everything I had to do is my dad. My dad helps me with everything as far as pitch mechanics, pitch location, the mental side of the game. Everything he does helps me. I can call him on the phone and tell him everything I did that game and he can correct me over the phone and tell me to try this or try that and I’ll go out the next day and be better usually. He’s seen me so many times. He knows what I’m doing. He doesn’t even have to see me in the game. He knows what I’m doing just by telling him what I was doing.

CJ: What would you say your goal is to get to the majors in? Have you set a time table?

DB: Of course I would like to get there as soon as I can and I’m sure the Orioles would like the same thing but we’ll have to see how it goes and we’ll have to see how my first year goes and then who knows; maybe my first year, maybe my second year, or maybe my third. But as quick as I can and I’ll be happy with that.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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