A. J. Puk
|A. J. Puk|
|Born: April 25, 1995|
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Andrew Jacob "A. J." Puk (born April 25, 1995) is an American baseball pitcher in the Oakland Athletics organization of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played college baseball for the Florida Gators.
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 went 5–2 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 $4,069,200 contract with the A's and was assigned to the Class A Short-Season Vermont Lake Monsters. He finished the 2016 season with a 0–4 record and a 3.03 ERA in ten starts. Puk spent 2017 with both the Midland RockHounds and the Stockton Ports, 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.
- 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.