OAKLAND, Calif. — A.J. Puk, a left-handed pitcher from Cedar Rapids, hit 100 MPH on the radar gun during his Major League Baseball Debut against the New York Yankees on Wednesday night.
The flamethrower from Cedar Rapids Washington played college baseball at the University of Florida being being drafted sixth overall by the Oakland Athletics in the 2016 MLB Draft.
Puk spent the past three years in the minors, and missed the 2018 season due to Tommy John surgery, before being called up on Tuesday.
“When I missed all of 2018, that was tough just missing time you realize how much you miss the game,” Puk said after being called up. “It’s great to make your debut at home and get in front of the Oakland fans that supported me even through my Tommy John rehab.”
The 6’7″ lefty threw 11 pitches in 1/3 of an inning, walking one and allowing one hit in the Athletics’ 6-4 win Wednesday night over the Yankees.
Puk’s fastball topped out at 100 MPH while facing Cameron Maybin, which resulted in an out thanks to some incredible defense by second baseman Jurickson Profar.
All 11 pitches Puk threw on Wednesday night were fastballs, ranging from 90 to 100 (technically 99.5) MPH.
After allowing a leadoff walk in the top of the 8th inning to Mike Tauchman, Puk retired Maybin before allowing a single to Mike Ford. The Athletics pulled Puk after three batters in lieu of closer Liam Hendriks.
Get to know Oakland Athletics pitcher A.J. Puk