This scenario has North Carolina’s JB Bukauskas getting past the Top 6. As an Ashburn, VA native, this would be a both an awesome and embarrassing pick for me personally since it would give the Diamondbacks a monopoly on pitching prospects from my hometown. The Diamondbacks drafted Taylor Clarke two years ago in the 3rd round, who has never faced off against him in high school since JBB was 4 years behind Clarke. The biggest obstacle for JBB to make it to the 7th pick is likely Oakland, where he’s a consensus mock pick.
So what type of scenario would it take for the A’s to pass on JBB? The first answer probably means at least one team ahead of them or Oakland themselves to take an under slot deal. I have no idea what the Padres will do if Hunter Greene, a San Diego native, is taken in the Top 2 picks. I think between San Diego and Atlanta that one of them might go under slot with their pick, although I’m skeptical either will. Another potential scenario would be Brendan McKay lasting past the Top 5, which I assume Oakland would draft over JBB. It’s also quite possible Oakland does an under slot deal with either Adam Haseley or Pavin Smith at 6 as well.
Previous Draft Scenarios
- Austin Beck on the board at 7
- Padres do under slot deal at 3, leaving Royce Lewis and Kyle Wright available at 7
- Kyle Wright and Adam Haseley on the board at 7
- Brendan McKay on the board at 7
- Twins: Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt
- Reds: Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (CA)
- Padres: Mackenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville HS (NC)
- Rays: Austin Beck, OF, North Davidson HS (NC)
- Braves: Under Slot deal
- Athletics: Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Louisville
In this scenario, JBB is on the board to the 7th pick and Mike Hazen is running a sub-7.00 60 to get his pick to the podium as Oakland’s pick is announced. Bukauskas has two pitches (mid to upper 90s fastball, slider) that grade out better than 65 on the scouting scale. His change-up is a distant 3rd pitch that is fringe-average, but flashes above average at times. Bukauskas is on the shorter side at 6’0” and has a little bit of effort in the delivery.
Stuff-wise, JBB has as much upside as any other pitcher in the draft. However, his mechanics are a big red flag for me, especially in the arm acceleration phase of the delivery. His talent is too much to pass on overall, but I do think his delivery needs some major fixes to reduce the chances of a potential UCL tear. The first half of the delivery itself is perfect from the windup, but from the separation phase to the finish of the pitch, it’s a mess. Once the mechanics are cleaned up, it’s just a matter of getting him experience in the upper minors and then putting him in the MLB rotation.
Would you draft JB Bukauskas if he’s on the board at the 7th pick in this scenario?
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