The Baltimore Orioles have gone above and beyond since 2018 to find talent that would be worthy of building and filtering through their minor league system, with the ultimate goal to have a continuous pipeline from the lowest level to the highest.
Of course, along the way, we have all heard of players like Adley Rutschman, Grayson Rodriguez, and D.L. Hall, but what about players who turn heads and appear on the radar that no one has heard of before? Those players have to push a little bit harder, compete a little more, and make the most of every opportunity that is presented to them.
One of those players, JD Mundy, was named the Orioles’ Minor League Position Player of the Month for the month of June. You’re scratching your head wondering who this guy is and why you haven’t heard of him. So before you delve deep into Google, let us see if we can provide a little information to help out.
JD Mundy, short for Jeffrey Dean, was an undrafted free agent signee by the Orioles in 2020. Born May 14, 1998, he is getting his first taste of big league ball, currently playing for the Aberdeen IronBirds. Mundy already has ties to professional baseball, as his uncle, Kelly Dampeer, was drafted in the 1997 MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians.
A six-foot, 210-pound first basemen, Mundy’s college career started at Virginia Tech before transferring (due to a coaching change) to Radford University to finish out his four-year career. Over his collegiate career, Mundy played in 157 games, batting .288 with 114 hits, that included 29 home runs and 114 RBI. He also grounded into only 10 double plays across his time in college. Mundy was also named the 2020 Big South Preseason Player of the Year and was a Big South First Team All-Conference selection in 2019.
There is no question about Mundy’s bat, as he’s hit at every level and displayed power at each so far during his career. He hit 17 home runs in his last two seasons of college (remember 2020 was cut short due to COVID-19). He did hit 29 round trippers in three summer ball stints, leading the team with 14 in 2018.
Mundy’s scouting report states he can hit the ball hard and can find the gaps, but he spent most of his career at Virginia Tech playing designated hitter and only transferred to Radford because of lack of playing time at first base. In his professional career, he has played 27 games, committing only one error.
Mundy is making a name for himself this year by recently being named O’s Minor League Position Player of the Month. In 24 games in June, Mundy batted .284 with 26 hits, including eight doubles and eight home runs, with 20 RBI and 10 walks. In 14 games at first base in Aberdeen, Mundy has a .992 fielding percentage, which is really good.
June wasn’t just about hitters, as Bowie Baysox left-handed pitcher, Cameron Bishop, also took home honors, becoming the Orioles Minor League Pitcher of the Month.
Bishop found an easier way to professional baseball than Mundy, as he was drafted in 2017 out of UC Irvine. Across 34 games, 17 starts, Bishop held a 7-5 record across two seasons, with two saves under his belt. In 102 innings, he struck out 108 batters with only 49 walks.
At six-foot-four and 235-pounds, the left-hander has a fastball that sits in the mid 90s, and his secondary pitches have improved since being drafted, with a scouting report calling his curveball and changeup fringe. He has since added a slider, and his prospect status has done nothing but improve.
Bishop seems to have found his grove this year. He is 3-0 this season across 10 games (three starts) and 42.1 innings pitched, with three saves recorded. He has a K:BB ratio of 48:16, showing that the control issues that plagued the 25-year-old coming out of college seem to have been fixed.
For the month of June, Bishop heated up with the temperature, throwing 22 innings, while striking out 32 and having a WHIP of 0.77. He gave up zero earned runs during the month.
They aren’t the normal names everyone is used to seeing, but these guys are just two more diamonds found in the rough that are turning into polished products. For some, the talent comes easy; for players like Mundy and Bishop, seizing the opportunity and moment with extra work and determination can lead to a grander stage than before.
For Mundy and Bishop, the lights are only going to get brighter, so be sure to catch them before they move up the ladder and join the big boys, where highlights, radio, and TV are the places where we will hear these names in the near future.
What do you think about these two young players in the O’s minor league system? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and follow our podcast, The Walk-Off, on YouTube and Spotify! And, make sure to use the hashtag #thebaltimorebattery when sharing our content to show your Birdland swag!