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JB Bukauskas 2017 MLB Draft

JB Bukauskas | RHP | 6’1 | 196 | R/R | North Carolina | D-backs ’14 (20)

Rank: No. 6 in the Top 200 MLB Draft Prospects

Rank: No. 3 in the Top 100 MLB Draft Prospects

Scouting Report: Bukauskas, whose first name is Jacob, reclassified as a high school junior to be part of the 2014 draft class and enroll at North Carolina a year early. The Diamondbacks drafted him that year anyway but he became a Tar Heel and made a jump as a sophomore, when he refined his slider to become one of the nation’s top strikeout pitchers. Short but strong-bodied at a listed 6-foot, 201 pounds, Bukauskas features the nation’s best breaking pitch, a slider that earns consistent 70 grades and even some 80s from area scouts. He has tremendous command of the 86-88 mph pitch with late, sharp bite and good tilt. He has better command of the slider than either his fastball or changeup, leading him to pitch off his slider more than big league pitchers would. The slider also helped him average 12.4 strikeouts per nine innings over 150 innings from the start of 2016 through April 2017. His fastball earns plus grades thanks to its velocity; it usually sits 95-97 mph early and settles in as a 92-94 mph pitch. It tends to lack movement even when he leaks out with his front shoulder and yanks the pitch. Bukauskas’ changeup earned above-average grades as an amateur and in the summer of 2016 with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team, but he was using it sparingly (5-10 times per game) as a junior, too infrequently for scouts to grade it more than average. The overall package leads many scouts to chalk Bukauskus up as a reliever, while others believe he could still start in the Sonny Gray/Lance McCullers mold. He’s young for the class and has the swing-and-miss slider to land in the first 10 picks.


17 8 0 1.51 71.2 96 22 0.89
16 7 2 3.10 78.1 111 29 1.24
15 5 3 4.09 72.2 67 30 1.29


Draft Notebook: J.B. Bukauskas Shines, Prep Arms Shaking Off Rust

Logan Warmoth, J.B. Bukauskas Power UNC Over Rival N.C. State

North Carolina’s J.B. Bukauskas Continues To Roll

College Pitchers Face Time Crunch To Prepare

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