Reports surfaced Thursday stating that the Houston Astros have agreed to a contract with first-round pick JB Bukauskas, who was picked 15th overall after winning the ACC Pitcher of the Year this past season at UNC.
Bukauskas–who was also a First Team All-American and Golden Spikes Award Finalist–made the trip to Houston on Thursday to complete his physical and formally sign the deal.
Chapel Hill ✈️ Houston
— Jacob Bukauskas (@JBukauskas22) July 6, 2017
Relying on a fastball sitting around 95 mph and a slider billed as one of the best in this year’s draft, the Ashburn, Virginia native posted a 9-0 record with a 2.02 ERA during the Tar Heels’ regular season.
His role at the pro level, however, will depend on his durability and the continued development of his changeup.
At just over six feet tall, Bukauskas’ frame is a bit small for a pitcher who throws with so much velocity–which could become an issue later on down the road.
For now, however, he’ll join an Astros farm system that includes fellow UNC products Colin Moran, Trent Thornton and Kent Emanuel.