Minor League Profile: Steven Bondurant

Minor League Profile: Steven Bondurant

Kane County southpaw Steven Bondurant is beginning to turn heads after a strong start to his 2004 campaign.

Much like Midland in 2002, which boasted Rich Harden, John Rheinecker, Mike Wood, and Jason Arnold (now with the Blue Jays) on its roster, Kane County currently has an impressive collection of young pitching arms. The best three of the bunch are Brad Knox, Jairo Garcia, and Steven Bondurant.

Knox and Garcia have been recently profiled here at The Insiders in our review of Oakland's top pitching prospects. While Bondurant did not make the list at the time, largely due to the sheer depth of pitching prospects in the minor league system, he deserves to be recognized as one of the A's excellent up and coming pitchers.

Steven Bondurant, LHP, 6'0", 190.

Year

Team

Lg

Age

W/L

ERA

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

HR

H/9

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

K/BB

2002

S. Carol.

NCAA

22

7-4

4.31

96.0

96

47

46

34

62

15

9.00

3.19

5.81

1.41

1.82

2003

S. Carol.

NCAA

23

7-3

4.23

110.2

119

58

52

32

98

10

9.68

2.60

7.97

0.81

3.06

2003

VAN

NW

23

0-4

3.57

58.0

51

30

23

20

54

5

7.91

3.10

8.38

0.78

2.70

2004

KANE CNTY

MID

24

10-2

2.12

76.1

50

23

18

16

82

4

5.90

1.89

9.67

0.47

5.13



Bondurant was drafted by the A's in the 15th round of the 2003 draft out of the University of South Carolina. He was sent to Vancouver in 2003 for 58 innings of short-season A ball, despite having thrown 110 2/3 innings that year for the Gamecocks. In 134 1/3 minor league innings to this point, Bondurant has shown substantial improvement from his college performance. His hits allowed, walks allowed, and homeruns allowed rates have all decreased dramatically; the sharp decline in his homerun and hit rates have resulted in a low ERA. At the same time, Steven has improved his strikeout rate and control to the point where he is striking out over a batter per inning while posting a 82/16 K/BB ratio.

Bondurant is not a hard thrower, with a high-80s fastball complemented by a quality changeup, but so far, he has experienced professional success because of his ability to control the strike zone, and keep the ball from leaving the park. If he continues to pitch at this level, a promotion to high-A Modesto or AA Midland is imminent, especially with the likelihood that some of the A's more ballyhooed minor league arms will be used as trading chips in the next two months, as well as the fact that Steven is one of the few left-handed pitchers in the farm system.

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