ABBOTSFORD, British Columbia (BVM) — Micah Bucknam will have another year to add weapons to his arsenal on the mound. The New Zealand-born right-handed pitcher will wear the colours of the Louisiana State University Tigers and will have a different stage to showcase his talent.
The 19-year-old freshman from Abbotsford, B.C. — who started to get noticed in the BCPBL as a member of the Abbotsford Cardinals — overpowered older MLB Draft League hitters this past summer: he exhibited a minuscule 0.53 ERA in five starts (15 strikeouts in 17 innings pitched) and put on a heck of a show almost 3,000 miles away from home, as part of the Trenton Thunder rotation.
His three-pitch repertoire caught the Toronto Blue Jays’ eye as they drafted him in the 16th round in the summer of 2021. But he has opted not to turn into a professional player yet. Bucknam owns a four-seam fastball that has hit 94 mph, a low-80s slider (or more precisely a slurve) and a change-up; one of his pending assignments is to bring a cutter to the mix. As part of the LSU Tigers, his game and his physic — 6-foot-2, 200 pounds with room to gain more mass — will keep developing.
The former member of the Canada Junior National Team (U18) attended high school at the Mennonite Educational Institute (MEI), from where he graduated this year.
There are high expectations about what he is capable of doing on the field: according to PBR British Columbia, he is the top-ranked player in B.C. and the MLB Draft League named him the fifth best prospect ahead of this past summer’s MLB Draft.
Starting this November, he will once again have the opportunity to steal the show with his intriguing deliveries.
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