J.B. Bukauskas
22-Year-Old PitcherRP
Arizona Diamondbacks AA
7-Day IL
Injury Elbow
Est. Return 10/1/2019
2019 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a contract with the Astros in July of 2017. Traded to the Diamondbacks in July of 2019.
Dealing with elbow soreness
PArizona Diamondbacks  AA
August 15, 2019
Bukauskas has been placed on the minor-league injured list with elbow soreness, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
Bukauskas, who was one of four players acquired from Houston in the Zack Greinke trade, is headed back to Phoenix for an evaluation. In two starts at Double-A Jackson since the trade, the right-hander has allowed six runs on 10 hits and five walks over 10 innings.
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2018 Fantasy Outlook
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.
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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.
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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.
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Moves up to Double-A
PHouston Astros  AA
September 3, 2018
Bukauskas made his debut at Double-A Corpus Christi on Sunday, striking out eight over six scoreless innings while giving up just one hit and two walks.
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Lights out at High-A
PHouston Astros  AA
August 16, 2018
Bukauskas spun seven shutout innings for High-A Buies Creek in its 5-0 win over Winston-Salem on Wednesday. He allowed one hit and one walk and struck out five.
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