Jacob Bukauskas: North Carolina Dream
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — University of North Carolina signee Jacob “JB” Bukauskas out of Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Virgina told Big League Futures Wednesday, that choosing to go to UNC was an easy choice to make.
“It’s always been high on my list,” Bukauskas said. “When I was younger my family and I would visit the campus, and I always dreamed of going there. Now I am just glad to have the opportunity to make that dream come true.”
Playing at UNC is a dream of many young athletes in many sports. The prestigious university is mostly known for its superb basketball tradition, but holds a rich baseball heritage as well.
The Tar Heels reached the College World Series in four consecutive years between 2006 and 2009, and five times in six years between 2006 and 2011. They reached the national championship series in both 2006 and 2007, however lost on both junctures to the Oregon State Beavers. The Tar Heels made a third straight trip to Omaha in 2008.
“They have great coaches and they take their teams to the College World Series all the time,” the 17 year old RHP added. “It’s a family oriented program, and the environment in general is just one of greatness.”
Bukauskas has made some noise in the high school ranks as well as for the Evoshield Canes, a travel ball organization that has acknowledged tremendous success. The Canes play first-rate opposition and are showcased in some of the nation’s top sports accommodations. The program is molded after college programs, with accent on teamwork, discipline and dedicating themselves to baseball year round.
Bukauskas has showcased his talents among elite travel ball tournaments and in the high school ranks, clearly having displayed a plus four seam fastball that sits 90-92 mph and has been seen at 93. He has a serviceable slider and changeup that sit 78-80, and he likes to work that changeup.
“My freshman year the changeup wasn’t that great,” the California native explained. “But I’ve worked on it and now it’s my favorite pitch to throw to get somebody out, it really shows well.”
Bukauskas is ranked the 88th best prospect in the 2014 class by Perfect Game , and was previously ranked 20th best in the 2015 class before he reclassified. If he puts together a strong senior season that projection could rise considerably.
“I just want to keep maturing as a baseball player,” Bukauskas stated. “I know I have the physical tools to compete, but I want to start focusing on the intangibles. I am always going to be that team guy that listens and does what the coaches tell me, that will put me in a good position to help my team win.”