With the sixth overall pick, the Athletics have selected left-hander A.J. Puk from the University of Florida. MLB.com had Puk going first off of the board to the Phillies in their mock draft. Meanwhile, both Baseball America and ESPN pegged Puk as the Reds' pick with the No. 2 selection.
Puk's slide to the sixth pick is a coup for the A's, who were said to be considering No. 2 overall pick Nick Senzel. Puk joins Sean Manaea, Casey Meisner and Dillon Overton as the only three pitchers in the Athletics' top 10 prospects, and is the first college pitcher selected by the A's in the first round since Sonny Gray in 2011.
A 21-year old junior for the Gators, Puk is a hard-throwing lefty who has consistently projected as one of the top overall players in this year's draft class. At 6-foot-7, Puk already has a plus-plus fastball that is complemented by his hard slider. When he’s throwing three pitches for strikes, Puk can be extremely dangerous.
While BA has Puk ranked as the top overall prospect this year, MLB.com’s rankings place him fourth, behind two high school pitchers, Jason Groome and Riley Pint. Though college pitchers are usually believed to have less risk associated with them, Puk has been inconsistent at times for Florida and has had some injury troubles, placing a small shadow of doubt on an otherwise high-floor assessment.