Astros draft pitcher J.B. Bukauskas in first round

With the highest draft pick they expect to have for several years, the Astrosselected a touted college arm who could rise quickly through their minor league system.

University of North Carolina righthander J.B. Bukauskas, selected by the Astros with the 15th overall selection, has garnered comparisons to the Oakland Athletics' Sonny Gray and, to a lesser extent, the Astros' Lance McCullers because of his size and dynamic breaking ball.

Bukauskas, listed at just 6-foot and 195 pounds, thrives behind a power slider regarded as one of the best breaking balls in this draft class. The Astros also view his fastball, which sits 93-94 mph but has touched 98, as a plus pitch and his still-developing changeup as having above-average potential.

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