A.J. Puk
23-Year-Old PitcherRP
Oakland Athletics AA
Injury Elbow
Est. Return 7/2/2019
2019 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
Add To Watchlist
$Signed a contract with the Athletics in June of 2016 that includes a $4.07 million signing bonus.
Throwing to hitters
POakland Athletics  AA
April 15, 2019
Puk (elbow) has thrown to hitters on multiple occasions recently, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Puk continues to target a mid-summer return, which would put him back on the mound approximately 15 months removed from Tommy John surgery. The towering southpaw appeared to be on the fast track to the majors at the time of his injury, but he will head to Triple-A Las Vegas for additional seasoning and acclimation once he's deemed ready for activation. Puk sports a relatively modest 36-appearance resume at the minor-league level, with his most recent action coming at Double-A Midland in 2017.
Read More News
Pitching Stats
Loading Pitching Stats...
MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Yahoo DFS
Loading Pitching Game Log...
Minor League Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Loading Minor League Pitching Game Log...
Advanced Pitching Stats
Loading Advanced Pitching Stats...
Defensive Stats
Loading MLB Defensive Stats...
Stats Vs Today's Lineup
Want more matchup stats?
Loading Matchup Stats...
Athletics Depth Chart
Our full team depth charts are reserved for RotoWire subscribers.
Subscribe Now
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring A.J. Puk
Minor League Barometer: Risers & Fallers
8 days ago
Jesse Siegel returns with a new list of young hotshots, including a potential future stud at the hot corner for the Cardinals.
Mound Musings: AL West Draft Day Targets
34 days ago
Brad Johnson completes deep dive into each divisions this week with a look at the American League West, where in Seattle, Felix Hernandez might be in the twilight of his career.
Farm Futures: Ranking the Rookies
49 days ago
James Anderson reviews the rookies who could make an impact in re-draft leagues, including White Sox slugger Eloy Jimenez.
Farm Futures: Pitcher Tiers
50 days ago
James Anderson reviews the top fantasy prospects on the mound, where Forrest Whitley has the potential to someday be the first pitcher off the board in redraft leagues.
Farm Futures: AL West: 125 Prospects You Need To Know
76 days ago
James Anderson wraps up his look at American League systems and thinks workload could be the only thing holding Forrest Whitley back in 2019.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
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
Hoping to return in summer
POakland Athletics  AA
March 19, 2019
The A's are hoping Puk (elbow) will be ready for game action sometime in June, Tyler Maun of MiLB.com reports.
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Heads to minor-league camp
POakland Athletics  AA
March 2, 2019
Puk (elbow) was reassigned to minor-league camp Saturday, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Ready for mound work
POakland Athletics  AA
February 12, 2019
Puk (elbow) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Tuesday, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Hopes for midseason return
POakland Athletics  AA
February 10, 2019
Puk (elbow) is hoping to return around the midway point of the 2019 season, Julian McWilliams of The Athletic reports.
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Undergoes successful surgery
POakland Athletics  AA
April 11, 2018
Puk (elbow) underwent successful Tommy John surgery Tuesday, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.