Owasso baseball

Dylan Bundy, a 2011 first round selection of the Baltimore Orioles, looks for a new start with the Los Angeles Angels. KEVIN KING/Tulsa World File

Dylan Bundy wants to be a rancher some day after his baseball career comes to an end. The former Owasso phenom and current Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher has been getting a feel for what life after the diamond may look like.

The 27-year-old has been trimming trees, spreading fertilizer, mowing and building fences on his 50-acre plot near Pawnee. Bundy has even built a porch swing out of steel and become a fan of pond fishing.

“I didn’t have the patience (for pond fishing) and that’s unusual coming from a deer hunter,” Bundy said. “… I’ve never been home this time of year.”

These are just a few of the things that occupy Bundy’s time as the 2011 Ram graduate awaits the return of the Major League Baseball season. The global COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the Angels’ spring training schedule in the Cactus League in mid-March, a couple of weeks before the regular season was scheduled to begin.

“It’s been weird,” said Bundy. “When we left, we were up to three or four innings of work. That’s the time where we’re ramped up. You get up to five innings, then maybe one more start and you’re ready to go.”

Bundy said he has been staying in touch with fellow players and members of the MLB Players Union on if and when the 2020 season does resume. In the meantime, Bundy continues to keep his arm in playing shape. He throws 3-4 innings of a simulated game indoors on a mound with a catcher. Bundy adds a regular workout routine and throws bullpen sessions in between those outings.

Drafted by Baltimore in the first round of the 2011 amateur draft, Bundy was acquired by the Angels during the offseason in a December trade with the Orioles. Bundy, who had his ups and downs for the O’s, became a reliable pitcher in the rotation with at least 28 starts and 160 innings pitched in each of the last four seasons.

Bundy said he found out about the trade the same day he proposed to his girlfriend, Caitlyn Smith, a first responder with the Owasso Fire Department.

“It was mixed emotions,” Bundy said. “You always plan on staying with the team that drafted you forever.”

Bundy’s first spring training with Los Angeles was off to a strong start prior to COVID-19. Through four starts, he had a 3-1 record and a 1.59 ERA in 11 1/3 innings.

While he enjoys the outdoors at his ranch, the former Gatorade National Player of the Year hopes to get back on a Major League mound, whenever that might be.

“You don’t want to take the game for granted because it can be taken away by something like this,” Bundy said. “It makes you want to get back out there for sure.”