The Angels desperately needed (and still need) pitching, and in 2020 Dylan Bundy provided the rotation-fronting arm they’ve lacked in recent years.
Bundy was acquired almost exactly a year ago, traded by the Orioles in exchange for four minor league pitchers. A change of scenery proved fruitful for the 27-year-old righty, who had the best season of his career.
In 11 starts for the Angels, Bundy had a 3.29 ERA and 2.95 FIP, the latter ranking fourth in the American League. He struck out 72 in 65⅔ innings, posted the highest strikeout rate (27 percent) and lowest walk rate (6.4 percent) of his career. After allowing 96 home runs in 89 starts with Baltimore the previous three seasons, Bundy gave up only five home runs in 11 starts in Anaheim.
Bundy’s slider was devastating, with 34 strikeouts in 68 plate appearances ending with the pitch, and holding batters to a .138 batting average and .200 slugging percentage on the pitch. His other pitches improved as well, including his four-seam fastball, which he threw a third of the time. Batters in 2019 hit .335 with a .645 slugging percentage against Bundy’s fastball, but this year that decreased to .241 with a .446 slugging percentage, with a 23.5-percent put-away mark on the pitch, up from 15.9 percent last year.
Bundy’s 137 ERA+ was the highest mark by an Angels pitcher with enough qualifying innings since Garrett Richards (138 ERA+) in 2014.
Stats: 3.29 ERA, 2.95 FIP, 137 ERA+, 72 K, 65⅔ IP, 1.8 bWAR
Salary: $5 million
Game of the year
On August 6 against Seattle, Bundy pitched the Angels’ first complete game in two years, striking out 10 while allowing only a run on four hits.
Bundy has five years, 26 days of service time, and has one more season before qualifying for free agency. The average of Matt Swartz’s salary arbitration projections at MLB Trade Rumors has Bundy earning $7.5 million in 2021.