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A.J. Puk

#35 | LHP
Miami Marlins Miami Marlins
A.J. Puk
Name: Andrew Jacob Puk
Born: Apr 25, 1995 in Cedar Rapids, IA
College: Florida
High School: Washington HS, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Ht.: 6'7" / Wt.: 238 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: L
Drafted in the 1st round (6th overall) by the Oakland Athletics in 2016 (signed for $4,069,200)
The top-ranked player in Florida's top-ranked 2013 recruiting class, Puk has developed into a potential top overall pick in college. As a sophomore, Puk was arrested, charged with third-degree criminal trespass after climbing a crane in a construction site. He was suspended briefly, but broke out upon his return, helping Florida to the College World Series and then pitching for USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team. A Preseason All-American, Puk was inconsistent at the start of the season and was briefly sidelined by back spasms. But he has since rounded into form and again looks the part of dominant starter. Puk throws his fastball in the mid to upper 90s and thanks to the downhill angle and the excellent extension his 6-foot-7 frame enables him to get, the pitch plays up even further. Puk's slider and changeup both could use further refinement, but both have a chance to develop into average offerings. His slider sits in the mid-80s with horizontal sweeping action, though it can sometimes back up. Puk repeats his arm slot well and gets his torso over his front side consistently. When he stays balanced and online, he is very difficult for hitters to square up, even if they make contact. He throws a lot of strikes, particularly for someone of his size, and can locate his fastball to both sides of the plate. Puk's overall skill set and body of work have positioned him to be the first college pitcher drafted, and he has the potential to become Florida's first ever No. 1 overall pick.
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