Jim Thome likes what he saw from Orioles stud prospect Dylan Bundy

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Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy is arguably the top pitching prospect in baseball and has advanced to Double-A as a 19-year-old after beginning the season at low Single-A.

Jim Thome was on hand for the 2011 first-round pick’s Double-A debut earlier this week, sitting behind home plate while on the disabled list for a herniated disk in his neck, and the future Hall of Famer came away extremely impressed:

He might be one of the best young pitchers I’ve seen in quite a while. He’s got so much upside to him. He looks like a great pitcher. He’s got a great arm, and it’s fun. It’s fun going down there seeing him. He’s obviously got a big, bright career ahead of him.

Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that Thome made the trek to Bowie at the request of Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who wanted a first-hand report. And here’s the thing about Thome being so impressed by Bundy: It was one of his worst starts, as he allowed three runs on five hits and three walks in 5.1 innings.

Overall this season–his first as a pro–Bundy has a 2.01 ERA and 106/22 K/BB ratio in 90 innings.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.