Gators in MLB: Puk working out of A’s bullpen

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A.J. Puk of the Oakland Athletics. [AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Oakland Athletics pitcher A.J. Puk, a Gator from 2014-16, has finally gotten his first taste of Major League Baseball. The 6-foot-7 left-hander pitched 0.1 innings against the New York Yankees on Aug. 21, giving up a hit and a walk but no runs.

Overall, the 24-year-old Puk has seen action in three games through Aug. 26, compiling a 3.86 ERA and 2.14 WHIP over 2.1 innings. Puk (taken sixth overall by the A’s in 2016) the has struck out two and walked three.

Pete Alonso | 2014-16 | New York Mets: In a stunning rookie season, Alonso has added more records to his young career. 

On Aug. 27, Alonso smashed his 42nd home run against the Chicago Cubs, becoming the Mets all-time single-season home run leader. The Mets first baseman is the first rookie to set his franchise’s single-season home run record since Johnny Rizzo did it for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1938. The Mets’ previous record of 41 in a season was shared by Carlos Beltran and Todd Hundley.

The 24-year-old Alonso, a 2019 All-Star, already set the NL rookie record for homers in a season and is batting .265 with 42 home runs and 101 RBIs through Aug. 27.

Shaun Anderson | 2014-16 | San Francisco Giants: Anderson started his first 16 appearances of the season but has since worked out of the bullpen in his last two games. For the season, Anderson is 3-4 with a 5.36 ERA in 85.2 innings of work. The former Gator has yielded 102 hits and 33 walks while striking out 55 batters.

Harrison Bader | 2013-15 | St. Louis Cardinals: In his last seven games, the Cardinals centerfielder has heated up, batting .320 with a home run, five RBI, five runs and three walks. For the 2019 season, the 25-year-old Bader is hitting .209 with 7 home runs and 25 RBI in 99 games.

Anthony DeSclafani | 2009-11 | Cincinnati Reds: The 6-foot-1, 195-pound righthander has an 8-7 record with 131 strikeouts in 128.2 innings pitched through Aug. 28. In his last two starts for the Reds, DeSclafani is 1-0 in 11 innings pitched with just two runs allowed and eight strikeouts.

Brian Johnson | 2010-12 | Boston Red Sox: The 6-foot-4 lefthander has started seven games for the Red Sox in 2019. Johnson has gone 1-3 with a 6.83 ERA through Aug. 28. He has struck out 22 batters in 29 innings. For his career, Johnson has made 56 appearances (26 starts), with a 4.79 ERA in 159.2 innings. 

Richie Martin | 2013-15 | Baltimore Orioles: Originally a first-round pick of the Oakland Athletics in 2015, Martin is now a rookie shortstop for the Orioles hitting .192 with four home runs and 13 RBI. He has also scored 24 times and stolen seven bases.

Bobby Poyner | 2012-2015 | Boston Red Sox (40-man): Poyner, a 6-foot, 205-pound lefty out of the bullpen, has made three appearances this season, his last coming on June 11 against the Texas Rangers. In 2019, he has a 15.75 ERA over 4 innings pitched. For his career, he is 1-0 with a 5.13 ERA over 23 games and 26.1 innings

Justin Shafer | 2012-14 | Toronto Blue Jays: The 26-year-old righthander has made 26 appearances in 2019 for the Blue Jays. Shafer has worked 31 innings and struck out 29 batters while walking 22. He has a 3.19 ERA this season and is in his second MLB year.

Mike Zunino | 2010-12 | Tampa Bay Rays: In 236 at-bats, the 28-year-old Zunino is hitting .169 with 8 home runs and 29 RBIs. Zunino has appeared in 75 games this season for the Rays and is a career .203 hitter with 103 home runs to his name.