J.B. Bukauskas
23-Year-Old PitcherRP
Arizona Diamondbacks AA
Day-To-Day
Injury Wrist
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Selected 15th overall by the Astros in the 2017 draft, Bukauskas was shipped to the Diamondbacks in the Zack Greinke deal. Number scouting his minor league stats don't do him justice as they're not impressive. That said, a car accident during spring training in 2018 marred the ensuing campaign and his 2019 was prematurely ended with elbow soreness. Bukauskas' allure is a mid-90s fastball with a plus slider, a combo fitting for high-leverage bullpen work. However, Arizona hasn't given up on the 23-year old righty honing his effective but inconsistent changeup to be a starter. The other key to his development is continuing to refine a max-effort delivery, in part responsible for spotty control. If it's decided Bukauskas is better suited as a reliever, he could be on the fast track. Otherwise look for him to return to Double-A Jackson as a starter with a summer promotion to Triple-A Reno. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a contract with the Astros in July of 2017. Traded to the Diamondbacks in July of 2019.
Elbow fine, now it's wrist
PArizona Diamondbacks  AA
Wrist
February 16, 2020
Bukauskas said his elbow is back to normal, but Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said the right-hander is experiencing discomfort in his wrist, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
ANALYSIS
Lovullo expects Bukauskas to get back to the mound at some point this week. The 23-year-old starter, who was acquired from Houston in the Zack Greinke deal, was the 15th overall pick in the 2017 draft, but he didn't throw strikes consistently in 2019. He registered 5.7 BB/9 in Double-A while pitching to a 5.44 ERA.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
Those who turned their attention to fantasy football prep in July missed one of the most dominant runs by a pitching prospect. Bukauskas was in a car accident in spring training and diagnosed with a bulging disk in his back in late April, but after struggling in his first two starts upon his return, he logged a 1.22 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 62 strikeouts in 51.2 innings while climbing from the New York-Penn League to Double-A in just 11 starts before adding 24.1 innings in the Arizona Fall League (83.1 total IP). He issued 15 free passes in 34 innings above Low-A, but held hitters to a .389 OPS over that stretch, so he was basically unhittable. As he climbs the ladder, he will need to improve his command of his mid-90s fastball. His 70-grade slider is an out pitch, and his cutter gives him a third weapon, but he needs to locate his heater to have success as a starter at the highest level. He has No. 2 starter upside and could reach the majors in some capacity this summer.
A mid-90s fastball and potential 70- or 80-grade slider were enough for the Astros to select Bukauskas with the No. 15 overall pick, despite legitimate bullpen risk. The UNC product stands just six feet tall and had shaky command/control of his fastball coming out of college. He also lacks a quality third pitch, as his changeup is still a work in progress. The 21-year-old righty should begin the year at Low-A with an incredibly wide range of outcomes. If the changeup comes along and his command improves, he all of a sudden looks like a potential top-of-the-rotation starter. If he is walking too many batters and continues to rely heavily on his two best pitches, whispers of a future relief role will continue to get louder. To be clear, a move to the bullpen wouldn't be the worst thing for his dynasty-league value. He has the stuff to be a perennial top-10 closer. His upside as a starter or reliever means he needs to be rostered in most dynasty leagues, but risk is intense.
More Fantasy News
Joining major-league camp
PArizona Diamondbacks  AA
Elbow
January 21, 2020
Bukauskas (elbow) will join the Diamondbacks' big-league camp, source reports.
ANALYSIS
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Dealing with elbow soreness
PArizona Diamondbacks  AA
Elbow
August 15, 2019
Bukauskas has been placed on the minor-league injured list with elbow soreness, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Traded to Arizona
PArizona Diamondbacks  AA
July 31, 2019
Bukauskas was traded from the Astros to the Diamondbacks along with Corbin Martin, Seth Beer and Josh Rojas in exchange for Zack Greinke, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports.
ANALYSIS
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Moves to minor-league camp
PHouston Astros  AA
March 12, 2019
Bukauskas headed to minor-league camp Tuesday, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic reports.
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Headed to major-league camp
PHouston Astros  AA
January 22, 2019
Bukauskas was invited to the Astros' major-league camp Tuesday, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
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