A. J. Puk
|A. J. Puk|
Puk with the Las Vegas Aviators in 2019
|Oakland Athletics – No. 31|
|Born: April 25, 1995|
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
|August 21, 2019, for the Oakland Athletics|
|MLB statistics |
(through September 22, 2019)
|Earned run average||3.48|
Puk attended Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was a first baseman and pitcher in baseball and also played football as a quarterback. He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 35th round of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft, but did not sign and attended the University of Florida to play college baseball.
As a freshman at Florida, Puk appeared in 19 games and made seven starts. He had a 5–2 win-loss record with a 3.35 earned run average (ERA), 44 strikeouts, and one save. In April 2015, Puk and a teammate were arrested and charged with third-degree criminal trespass after they climbed a crane inside a marked construction site on Florida's campus. The charge was later reduced to a misdemeanor and he was briefly suspended. After the suspension, Puk returned to help lead the Gators to the 2015 College World Series.
Puk was ranked among the top prospects for the 2016 Major League Baseball draft in early rankings. The Oakland Athletics selected him in the first round with the sixth overall pick of the draft. He signed a contract with a $4,069,200 signing bonus and was assigned to the Vermont Lake Monsters of the Class A Short-Season New York-Penn League. He finished the 2016 season with a 0–4 record and a 3.03 ERA in ten starts. Puk spent 2017 with the Stockton Ports of the Class A-Advanced California League and the Midland RockHounds of the Class AA Texas League, pitching in 27 games (24 starts), posting a combined 6–10 record with a 4.03 ERA, along with 184 strikeouts in 124 innings pitched, between both teams. On April 11, 2018, Puk underwent Tommy John surgery, forcing him to miss the 2018 season. Puk began the 2019 season with Midland, and was promoted to the Las Vegas Aviators of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League during the season.
On August 20, the Athletics promoted Puk to the major leagues. Puk made his major league debut against the New York Yankees on August 21, retiring one of three batters faced. Puk earned his first career win on September 5, 2019, pitching two innings in relief with one earned run and two strikeouts.
- Baseball: Washington's Puk Headed To College Over Pros Archived June 24, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- Thompson, Edgar (April 13, 2015). "UF pitchers A.J. Puk and Kirby Snead arrested, charged with third-degree criminal trespass". Orlando Sentinel.
- Birch, Tommy (May 17, 2015). "After arrest, Florida's A.J. Puk gets career on track". Des Moines Register.
- Johnson, Jeff (June 14, 2015). "Former Wash prep Puk emerging as standout pitcher for Florida". The Gazette.
- Birch, Tommy (June 17, 2015). "Iowan Puk on early lists as possible top pick in 2016 MLB Draft". Des Moines Register.
- Rawnsley, David (June 11, 2015). "2016 MLB draft preview: Names to know for next year's class - MLB - SI.com". SI.com.
- "Oakland Athletics 2016 Draft Results". MLB.com. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
- Macklin, Oliver (June 30, 2016). "A's agree to terms with 1st-rounder Puk". MLB.com. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
- "A.J. Puk Stats, Highlights, Bio - MiLB.com Stats - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Retrieved November 10, 2017.
- "AJ Puk undergoes TJ surgery, will miss 2018 season". MLB. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Jeff Johnson (August 20, 2019). "Cedar Rapids Washington grad A.J. Puk gets the call to the major leagues". The Gazette. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
- Ethan Strauss (August 22, 2019). "A.J. Puk's captivating A's debut brings a lot of nerves, thrills and uncertainty". The Athletic. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
- "A's sweep Angels thanks to seven run seventh inning". KOLOTV.com. Associated Press. September 5, 2019. Retrieved September 6, 2019.