One of the best pure talents in the recent Major league Baseball draft is under contract as the Oakland Athletics have announced they have signed hard-throwing starting pitcher A.J. Puk.
Puk has the potential to be an imposing member of the Athletics’ starting rotation for years to come. He was a dominant player for the stalwart Florida Gators for three years,
Puk, who is 6-foot-7, 230 pounds, is a left-handed pitcher. His combination of being a southpaw, having great size and have a good array of pitches made Puk a top draft prospect. Many mock drafts had him linked to the Philadelphia Phillies with the No. 1 overall, draft pick, but the Phillies went with Southern California high school outfielder Mickey Moniak.
Many draft observers were surprised that Puk fell to No. 6. The Athletics quickly ended Puk’s slide and now they have him under wraps.
Puk started 15 games this season for the Gators. He had 3.21 earned run average. He struck out 95 batters in 70 innings. Puk struck out 104 batters in 78 innings as a sophomore for Florida, which went to the College World Series in 2015. Thus, Puk had 199 strikeouts in 148 innings in his final two college seasons. That had to entice Oakland’s brass.
Last summer, Puk pitched four innings of a no hitter against Cuba for the United State Collegiate National team. It was the first time Cuba was no-hit in international play.
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