High-A Aberdeen first baseman J.D. Mundy had to transfer when he was playing college ball and went unselected in last year’s five-round draft, but he’s enjoying a productive season in his first year in the Orioles’ farm system.

The 6-foot, 210-pound Mundy played college ball at Virginia Tech from 2017-2018 and Radford from 2019-2020, with the last season being shortened due to COVID-19. Virginia Tech had hired former Maryland baseball coach John Szefc at the end of the 2017 season.

“We ended up getting a new coach that year,” Mundy said on Glenn Clark Radio July 16. “He just pretty much told me that at the end of the [2018] season that I wasn’t going to get much playing time on the field and that kind of changed my mind. I decided to transfer and go to Radford, where I could play more.”

Mundy was a productive player at Virginia Tech and continued being one at Radford, where he hit .323/.425/.606 during his two seasons. He earned first-team All-Big South honors in 2019 and was the preseason Player of the Year in 2020.

Last year marked one of the most unique MLB Draft landscapes ever. The draft was only five rounds, but after not hearing his name called, Mundy was still excited to have the option to pick where he’d begin his career.

“I had a couple teams call me or try to sign me as a free agent,” Mundy said. “Just talking to the Orioles, talking to all the hitting coaches, the infield coaches, just the organization in general, I felt like it was the best fit for me throughout my career, so I ended up choosing them.”

The 6-foot, 210-pound first baseman has hit .267/.327/.563 with 10 home runs and 26 RBIs with the IronBirds entering play July 27. Earlier this year, Mundy hit .324/.461/.577 with four homers and 20 RBIs with Low-A Delmarva.

Mundy spoke about the power surge he’s had in pro ball.

“I think it’s just the nature of growth,” Mundy said. “I think obviously the pitchers just throw harder. I think my swing is just set up to try to use the speed against it, so when I hit the ball up front it just carries out.”

Mundy is also working to refine his approach in pro ball.

“Sometimes it’s hard to take that borderline pitch,” Mundy said. “I usually am an aggressive hitter, so I kind of just try to find out the pitcher’s tendencies and try to figure out how they are trying to get me out.”

It’s not just Mundy’s hitting that drives him as a prospect. Mundy takes pride in his work at first base as well. He said he works twice as hard in the field as he does while at batting practice.

“I definitely think the infield coach here at Aberdeen has helped me out a lot, just helping me with the footwork at first base and the footwork fielding ground balls and just my hand work,” Mundy said. “I definitely feel like I’ve gotten a lot better.”

Mundy said being around so many good prospects with Aberdeen right now is helping him become a great player himself.

“We’ve got a bunch of young talent on this team. Everybody can really play the game at a high level,” Mundy said, “and I think it definitely makes me step my game up because I want to compete with these guys and play as long as I can with them.”

Mundy is thrilled to be a part of the rebuilding process for the Orioles.

“I’m not trying to worry about moving up levels as quick as I can,” Mundy said. “I’m just worried about being the best player I can be and just keep working on my game and the success will come with that.”

For more from Mundy, listen to the full interview here:

Photo Credit: Caroline Hurtt