A.J. Puk

A.J. Puk

29-Year-Old PitcherRP
Miami Marlins
2024 Fantasy Outlook
Acquired by Miami last February, Puk locked down the primary save share early in the season, converting 6 of the Marlins' first 10 saves. The momentum the southpaw was gaining in the 9th inning was halted by a mid-May trip to the injured list due to nerve irritation in his throwing elbow. Fortunately, he only missed 3 weeks and reclaimed closing duties upon his return. Puk racked up 9 more saves until a brutal July (10.24 ERA) forced manager Skip Schumaker to make a closer change. The 28-year-old rebounded over the final two months to finish the season with a career-high 15 saves, 7 wins and 78:13 K:BB ratio across 56.2 innings. Puk's 26.9% K-BB percentage was 3rd-best among qualified relievers, so there's a good chance he sees save opportunities again in 2024. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
Rest of Season From Preseason
#309
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $1.8 contract with the Marlins in January of 2024.
Finally nabs first win
PMiami Marlins
June 24, 2024
Puk (1-8) was credited with the win Sunday over the Mariners, striking out two batters in two perfect innings of relief.
ANALYSIS
The left-hander took over from Kyle Tyler to begin the fifth inning with the Marlins ahead 6-2, and Puk needed only 20 pitches (14 strikes) to rack up six outs and become the pitcher of record. He appears to be regaining his prior form now that he's no longer in the rotation -- through 10.2 innings in June, Puk sports a 3.38 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 10:1 K:BB. Should closer Tanner Scott be dealt by the trade deadline, Puk would be a candidate for saves given his experience in the role last year.
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Pitching Stats
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2024
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2024 MLB Game Log
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2023 MLB Game Log
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2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
25
Last 10 Games
16
Last 5 Games
15
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 2022
 
 
-28%
BAA vs LHP
2024
 
 
-12%
BAA vs LHP
2023
 
 
-25%
BAA vs LHP
2022
 
 
-39%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2022vs Left .184 228 73 10 38 2 1 7
Since 2022vs Right .255 465 116 47 104 30 1 13
2024vs Left .220 55 15 4 11 1 1 1
2024vs Right .250 115 20 17 24 10 0 2
2023vs Left .197 76 29 2 14 1 0 3
2023vs Right .261 166 49 11 40 9 0 7
2022vs Left .153 97 29 4 13 0 0 3
2022vs Right .252 184 47 19 40 11 1 4
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2022
 
 
-44%
ERA on Road
2024
 
 
-21%
ERA on Road
2023
 
 
-58%
ERA on Road
2022
 
 
-40%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2022Home 4.90 1.31 82.2 7 9 11 11.0 3.5 1.7
Since 2022Away 2.76 1.16 78.1 6 7 9 10.1 2.9 0.5
2024Home 5.48 1.36 21.1 1 5 0 8.9 5.1 0.8
2024Away 4.32 1.62 16.2 1 3 1 7.6 4.9 0.5
2023Home 5.29 1.45 32.1 4 3 8 14.2 2.5 2.5
2023Away 2.22 0.82 24.1 3 2 7 10.0 1.5 0.4
2022Home 4.03 1.10 29.0 2 1 3 9.0 3.4 1.6
2022Away 2.41 1.18 37.1 2 2 1 11.3 2.9 0.5
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
1.67
 
K/9
8.3
 
BB/9
5.0
 
HR/9
0.7
 
Fastball
94.5 mph
 
ERA
4.97
 
WHIP
1.47
 
BABIP
.307
 
GB/FB
1.05
 
Left On Base
56.0%
 
Exit Velocity
80.5 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
2.8%
 
Spin Rate
2138 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
23.9%
 
Swinging Strike
11.4%
 
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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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
Puk finally faded the injury bug, setting personal marks in both innings (66.1) and games played (62) after moving to the bullpen. The 6-foot-7 southpaw struck out 76 batters via his 97 mph fastball, slider and occasional sinker, while maintaining mostly above-average Statcast metrics. The few areas of deficiency were barrel percentage (8.8%) and walk rate (8.2%), especially after Puk exhibited shaky control in the second half. However, Puk's ascension to high leverage was no surprise, especially given the wave of injuries to his bullpen mates. He compiled four wins, 20 holds (T-13th in AL) and four saves, three of which came within a two-week span right after the All-Star break. Puk has the upside to close full-time, but he'll open spring training in the competition for a rotation spot. He's primarily worked as a reliever since he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017, so his outlook is murky at best if he sticks as a starter.
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.
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
Stuck with another loss
PMiami Marlins
June 18, 2024
Puk (0-8) took the loss Monday as the Marlins fell to the Cardinals in 12 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on two hits in an inning of relief.
ANALYSIS
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Hit with loss in relief
PMiami Marlins
June 10, 2024
Puk (0-7) took the loss Sunday against the Guardians, coughing up three runs on three hits in a third of an inning.
ANALYSIS
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Tagged with loss Monday
PMiami Marlins
May 28, 2024
Puk (0-6) took the loss Monday against the Padres, giving up an unearned run on one hit over two-thirds of an inning.
ANALYSIS
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Earns first save
PMiami Marlins
May 14, 2024
Puk earned the save Tuesday against the Tigers, delivering a scoreless 10th inning in a 1-0 victory.
ANALYSIS
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Returns from injured list
PMiami Marlins
May 13, 2024
The Marlins activated Puk (shoulder) from the 15-day injured list Monday.
ANALYSIS
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Latest Fantasy Rumors
May get save chances
POakland Athletics
June 21, 2022
Puk and Zach Jackson are most likely options to receive save chances with Dany Jimenez on the injured list, reports Martin Gallegos of MLB.com.
ANALYSIS
Puk has not yet been called upon in a save situation but could receive chances with Jimenez out with a strained right shoulder. Oakland will reportedly go with in-game matchups and the lefty Puk will likely see time in high-leverage situations against left-handed batters. The 27-year-old is having the best season of his big-league career, posting a 1.93 ERA and 26:5 K:BB in 28 innings.
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