A.J. Puk

26-Year-Old PitcherRP
Oakland Athletics AAA
2022 Fantasy Outlook
Health issues and ineffectiveness have limited Puk to 24.2 big-league innings since he was drafted as the sixth overall pick in 2016. The southpaw didn't break camp with Oakland last season, but was promoted in April and made one appearance in long relief before suffering a strained left biceps that forced a trip to the injured list. He was not activated until late-May and was optioned to Triple-A after getting hit hard during his rehab. Puk has yet to start a game in the majors with just 22 relief appearances on his resume, so it's fair to start questioning whether a starting role is still in his future. Last year, he went three innings or more just four times in 41 appearances between the majors and minors. He also lost a few ticks on his fastball and slider compared to 2019 and both pitches were far less effective. However, Puk still has plenty of upside and is worth a late-round flier in deeper leagues. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#526
ADP
$Signed a $4.07 million contract with the Athletics in June of 2016.
Sent down Wednesday
POakland Athletics  AAA
September 8, 2021
Puk was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas on Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
Puk was charged with two losses since the beginning of September, and he gave up five runs in 1.1 innings across three appearances since then. He'll attempt to get back on track with the minor-league club, while right-hander Miguel Romero was recalled to take his place in the bullpen.
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Pitching Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
20
Last 10 Games
17
Last 5 Games
16
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 2019
 
 
-18%
BAA vs RHP
2021
 
 
-18%
BAA vs LHP
2020
No Stats
2019
 
 
-55%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2019vs Left .321 31 10 3 9 2 0 0
Since 2019vs Right .264 81 19 8 19 0 0 2
2021vs Left .267 17 7 2 4 1 0 0
2021vs Right .326 48 9 4 14 0 0 1
2020vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Left .385 14 3 1 5 1 0 0
2019vs Right .172 33 10 4 5 0 0 1
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-77%
ERA on Road
2021
 
 
-65%
ERA on Road
2020
No Stats
2019
 
 
-100%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2019Home 7.24 1.90 13.2 2 2 0 11.2 4.6 1.3
Since 2019Away 1.64 1.18 11.0 0 1 0 9.8 3.3 0.0
2021Home 8.59 2.18 7.1 0 2 0 12.3 4.9 1.2
2021Away 3.00 1.33 6.0 0 1 0 9.0 3.0 0.0
2020Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 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
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
2.67
 
K/9
10.8
 
BB/9
4.1
 
HR/9
0.7
 
Fastball
95.7 mph
 
ERA
6.08
 
WHIP
1.80
 
BABIP
.440
 
GB/FB
3.14
 
Left On Base
66.4%
 
Exit Velocity
84.9 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
1.3%
 
Spin Rate
2163 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
29.3%
 
Swinging Strike
10.3%
 
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
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
Puk appeared poised for a spot in Oakland's starting rotation heading into 2020, but a shoulder issue that popped up in March and ultimately required surgery wiped out his season. It was a disappointing turn of events for the organization -- and for fantasy managers -- after the young southpaw flashed his limitless potential in a bullpen role at the tail end of the 2019 campaign. Despite coming off Tommy John surgery and being mostly limited to two pitch types during that stint, Puk registered a 27.7 K% and 13.9 SwStr% while allowing four earned runs over 11.1 innings. Of course, the pitches he relied upon -- a blazing fastball and wicked slider -- are his two best, but the expansion of his arsenal should only help him put away hitters. The good news is that Puk's shoulder surgery was relatively minor, and he should be ready for spring training. The tools are undeniable, but arm health remains a concern.
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.
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
Woeful in relief Tuesday
POakland Athletics  AAA
September 8, 2021
Puk (0-3) was tagged with the loss in relief Tuesday against the White Sox after allowing three runs on five hits across one-third of an inning, striking out one.
ANALYSIS
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Still inconsistent in majors
POakland Athletics  AAA
September 6, 2021
Puk has allowed four earned runs on 10 hits over the 4.2 innings covering his last five relief appearances.
ANALYSIS
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Takes first loss of season
POakland Athletics  AAA
August 22, 2021
Puk (0-1) allowed two earned runs on one hit and one walk while striking out one across one inning, taking the loss to the Giants on Sunday.
ANALYSIS
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Perfect frame in majors return
POakland Athletics  AAA
August 11, 2021
Puk, recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas earlier in the day, fired a perfect sixth inning in an extra-inning win over Cleveland on Tuesday, recording two strikeouts.
ANALYSIS
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Joining big-league bullpen
POakland Athletics  AAA
August 10, 2021
The Athletics recalled Puk from Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday, Melissa Lockard of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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