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Minor League Notebooks

Doctors recommend Tommy John surgery for A’s prospect A.J. Puk

The Oakland A’s will be without their top pitching prospect for the entire 2018 season.

A.J. Puk / Photo by Matthew Barnett/Midland RockHounds
A.J. Puk led all A's minor leaguers with 184 strike-outs. / Photo by Matthew Barnett / Midland RockHounds

The Oakland A’s announced on Tuesday that doctors have recommended A.J. Puk, their top pitching prospect, undergo Tommy John surgery. The A’s 2016 top pick had a standout spring training but was shut down with left bicep soreness after he was sent to minor league camp last week.

Puk, the #6 overall pick in the 2016 draft, threw 125 innings in his first full professional season last year. The 6’7” left-hander split the year between High-A Stockton and Double-A Midland. He posted a 4.03 ERA and a 184:48 K:BB. Opponents hit only .227 against him.

Puk didn’t spend any time on the disabled list in 2017, but he was shutdown after leaving his first postseason start with Midland with left forearm soreness. He rehabbed early in the offseason and was cleared. He threw 10.2 innings in big league camp this spring and didn’t allow a run until his final 2/3 of an inning against the Mariners. He was charged with four runs in that inning. Puk’s velocity was down in that start, as well.

The A’s will also be without Jharel Cotton for the 2018 season after he had Tommy John surgery last week.

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