A.J. Puk
25-Year-Old PitcherRP
Day-To-Day
Injury Shoulder
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Puk successfully made it back from April 2018 Tommy John surgery, which in itself is no small feat. He threw 25.1 innings in the minors as the final step of his rehab before joining the big-league bullpen in late-August. The 6-foot-7 southpaw is still being groomed as a starter, but working out of the bullpen not only helped the big-league club secure a playoff spot, but it allowed the A's to carefully manage his workload. His 97-mph fourseam fastball and 90-mph slider can be truly dominant offerings. The extension he gets on his pitches is unfair from a southpaw. He only threw his 89-mph changeup 9.4% of the time, but it was also a very effective offering. His 10.6 BB% was not a surprising mark for a towering pitcher returning from TJS. If his command improves slightly, he has the stuff and size to be one of the game's best left-handed starters. He could log between 125-150 innings in the rotation in 2020. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a contract with the Athletics in June of 2016 that includes a $4.07 million signing bonus.
Should be free of limitations
POakland Athletics
Shoulder
May 14, 2020
Puk (shoulder) should be ready to take his projected spot in the starting rotation if the 2020 regular season begins in early July as planned, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
The towering southpaw has been one of the various injured players around MLB to benefit from the extended suspension of play, as his early March shoulder strain has had plenty of time to clear up in ensuing weeks. Additionally, Slusser notes Puk could well be free of any innings limit he would have likely been subject to in a regular season of normal duration. Puk was already back to throwing from 120 feet as of early April, and he'll presumably have an additional opportunity to tune up in any continuation of spring training that occurs leading up to a proposed early July Opening Day.
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Pitching Stats
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2019
2019 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
20
Last 10 Games
20
Last 5 Games
22
How many pitches does A.J. Puk generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does A.J. Puk generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-55%
BAA vs RHP
2019
 
 
-55%
BAA vs RHP
2018
No Stats
2017
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .385 14 3 1 5 1 0 0
Since 2017vs Right .172 33 10 4 5 0 0 1
2019vs Left .385 14 3 1 5 1 0 0
2019vs Right .172 33 10 4 5 0 0 1
2018vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-100%
ERA on Road
2019
 
 
-100%
ERA on Road
2018
No Stats
2017
No Stats
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 5.68 1.58 6.1 2 0 0 9.9 4.3 1.4
Since 2017Away 0.00 1.00 5.0 0 0 0 10.8 3.6 0.0
2019Home 5.68 1.58 6.1 2 0 0 9.9 4.3 1.4
2019Away 0.00 1.00 5.0 0 0 0 10.8 3.6 0.0
2018Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does A.J. Puk compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 30 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
2.60
 
K/9
10.3
 
BB/9
4.0
 
HR/9
0.8
 
Fastball
97.1 mph
 
ERA
3.18
 
WHIP
1.32
 
BABIP
.322
 
GB/FB
1.40
 
Left On Base
80.9%
 
Exit Velocity
85.8 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
0.0%
 
Spin Rate
2214 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
24.1%
 
Swinging Strike
14.4%
 
Prospect Rankings History
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring A.J. Puk
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
The 6-foot-7 lefty was the talk of A's camp early last spring and appeared primed to spend most of the year in the big-league rotation. But then a ligament injury surfaced and the worst-case scenario was realized, with Dr. James Andrews recommending Tommy John surgery. Puk underwent the procedure April 10 and would seem to stand a good chance to make his big-league debut in 2019, though perhaps not until June or July. The scouting report on Puk: high-90s heat and a wipeout slider, both potential plus-plus offerings at maturity. He can also spin a curveball and change speeds with fringe-average command -- the total package here has clear frontline potential. The strikeout upside is through the roof and the Ks should make it easier to stomach some of the inevitable bumps in the road. Puk is not really in the mix for redraft leagues outside of draft-and-hold formats, but it's worth saving a chunk of FAAB for when he's ready.
Puk's 184 strikeouts ranked third in the minors last season, and he logged almost 20 fewer innings than the two pitchers ahead of him (Alec Hansen and Triston McKenzie). The big 6-foot-7 lefty, who was the first college pitcher to come off the board in 2016, dominated hitters while splitting time evenly at High-A and Double-A. His upper-90s fastball and wipeout slider both have the potential to be 70-grade offerings by the time he reaches the majors. His command and control were seen as fringe average when he was coming out of the University of Florida, and while he has made strides, Puk still struggles at times to locate his pitches, as do most young pitchers. His changeup and curveball are not in the same class as his fastball and slider, which is why he can struggle the third time through the lineup. His 2.35 FIP at Double-A was the worst mark of his career, and he has given up just three home runs in 157.2 innings, so he may not get a true challenge until he reaches the big leagues, perhaps as early as this summer.
Puk has everything the scouts look for in a pitching prospect: tremendous raw stuff with tons of projectability on a big frame. It doesn't hurt that he's a southpaw. Indeed, Puk was rumored to be in the mix to go No. 1 overall in June but ended up falling to the A's with the sixth pick. His initial run in short-season ball was impressive, with his 3.31 BB/9 rate representing perhaps the most encouraging stat as a lack of command and control was his biggest knock coming out of the University of Florida. Of course, given his age and level, we won't truly know if he has made significant strides in that department until he receives a couple promotions. His fastball was sitting in the mid-90s and continues to grade as a borderline plus-plus pitch, while his slider and changeup will both need to jump a grade for him to profile atop a rotation. Turning 22 in April, Puk likely will receive a full-season assignment early on in 2017, and it would not be a surprise if the A's took an aggressive, sink-or-swim approach to his development in the coming seasons.
More Fantasy News
On upswing
POakland Athletics
Shoulder
April 6, 2020
Puk has been long tossing from 120 feet and says his shoulder feels the best it has in awhile, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
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Chance to open season in rotation
POakland Athletics
Shoulder
March 21, 2020
Puk (shoulder) could have an opportunity to start the 2020 campaign in the starting rotation due to the significantly delayed start to the regular season, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Plays catch Wednesday
POakland Athletics
Shoulder
March 12, 2020
Puk (shoulder) was able to play catch Wednesday, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Could throw Tuesday
POakland Athletics
Shoulder
March 9, 2020
Puk is expected to resume throwing as early as Tuesday, Shayna Rubin of The San Jose Mercury News reports.
ANALYSIS
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Unlikely to open in rotation
POakland Athletics
Shoulder
March 7, 2020
Puk's strained shoulder likely takes him out of contention for an Opening Day rotation spot, Shayna Rubin of The San Jose Mercury News reports.
ANALYSIS
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