Prep Baseball Report

Bucknam, Ochoa Perform Well At Super 60

Bruce Hefflinger and Dylan Hefflinger
PBR Canada Senior Writer and Editor in Chief

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Bucknam, Ochoa Perform Well At Super 60

MCCOOK, Ill. - Micah Bucknam impressed on the mound while Nathaniel Ochoa dazzled in the field and with the bat during the Prep Baseball Report Super 60 Pro Showcase.

The performances by the two representatives from Canada in front of approximately 100 pro scouts drew raves.

“Micah Bucknam continues to make strides,” noted Shooter Hunt, vice president of scouting for PBR. “The biggest one that I noticed at the Super 60 was in the breaking ball. There is some depth, but the later bite is what might help him in developing more of an out pitch.”

Ochoa also grabbed a lot of attention.

“Ochoa's broad-shouldered, physical frame is imposing almost as much as how easily he moves around in it,” Hunt explained. “He’s comfortable at shortstop with graceful actions and a confident glove. I think it is going to be very easy to envision Ochoa gaining some helium throughout the spring/summer.

“That bat continues to trend up from a power standpoint, and with more live action, he could make significant strides forward in the future.”

George Halim, PBR Canada Scouting Director, was excited with what he saw out of the two top-rated players at their position in British Columbia and Ontario, respectively.

“The fastball is cutty, the breaking ball shows early shape and the changeup shows good downward action,” Halim pointed out about Bucknam, who sat 87-90 while topping at 91. “There's a lot of effort in the delivery, but it was a good early look at the LSU commit before he gets to the Draft League this summer.”

Ochoa, who ran a 6.77 time in the 60 and had 100 exit velocity along with 92 infield velo, is also slated to play in the PBR league in a few months.

“If you know Ochoa, you know his money-maker is going to be the bat, but it's also going to be the last thing to come,” Halim said. “At 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, he looks the part. He ran a 6.77, showed easy arm strength across the diamond, and a reliable glove in the infield. Down the road he has a chance to hit for power, but he's got time before he sets his sights on the PBR Draft League this summer.”

The Alabama commit enjoyed his time at the 20th annual event.

“The Super 60 was the smoothest showcase event that I have ever been a part of,” the Notre Dame Catholic High School senior related. “It is an amazing opportunity that PBR is able to provide, especially getting as many scouts to the event as there was. Very impressive.

“The highlight for me was my fielding. I went out to shortstop feeling very confident and it paid off. I made all my plays and all my throws, had a personal best across diamond velo and looked athletic doing it all.”

But it was also a learning process for the 57th-rated 2022 shortstop in North America.

“I think to help me in the future, something that I can take away from my performance at the event is just to stay loose and not get nervous,” Ochoa said. “It’s easy to tense up and get flustered in front of that many scouts, but at the Super 60 I made sure to take a deep breath and remember that I’ve been doing this for half of my lifetime. When I did that, it became normal and I performed well.”

Bucknam, the 63rd-ranked senior right-handed pitcher in North America, also appreciated the chance to show what he could do.

“I really enjoyed the event,” the M.E.I. (Mennonite Educational Institute) senior said. “It was a great opportunity to get out and throw in front of scouts. It’s a good preseason event, but sometimes hard for pitchers to get ready for. But overall it was a great event to participate in for the exposure we were given.

“The highlight for me was being able to see the technology after the event to help me in my development,” added the 6-2 205-pounder. “ProPlayAI was a great help to me in seeing how I can get better in my throwing mechanics. ProPlayAI and the Trackman data were very helpful in seeing some of the results of what I have been working on this off-season.”

Admittedly, performing with so many eyes on you from pro scouts was a bit daunting according to Bucknam.

“It was pretty nerve-wracking throwing in front of that many guys,” the top-rated 2022 in British Columbia said. “I enjoyed it though because it was just another opportunity to showcase my skills at a high level.”

Ochoa felt the same way.

“Performing in front of that many scouts can be nerve-wracking at times for sure, but the opportunities that it provides players is top tier,” Ochoa said. “The ability for a showcase event to have the amount of scouts it did is honestly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I think anyone who has the chance to go, should take it and make the best of it.”

Each drew attention from scouts at the Super 60.

“I had a few pro scouts reach out to me afterward telling me they thought I threw well etc,” Bucknam related. “All in all it was good to hear feedback after the event.”

Ochoa concurred with the thoughts of Bucknam.

“I did have a couple pro scouts approach me at the event, just for the most part introducing themselves to me and briefly chatting,” Ochoa said. “It really means a lot to me. It’s definitely an exciting feeling having pro scouts approach.”

And another step on the road to a bright future in the game, as Bucknam concluded.

“PBR has been a great help to me in my baseball career up to this point and I can’t wait to continue to go to their events and to play in the PBR MLB draft league this summer.”

Who Attended?

Name Position Class High School
Micah Bucknam
RHP 2022 M.E.I LSU
Nathaniel Ochoa
Notre Dame Catholic

A Closer Look At The Prospects

Micah Bucknam

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Super 60 Performance

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Nathaniel Ochoa

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Super 60 Performance

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