Future Watch: A.J. Puckett, Rookie Baseball Cards, Royals – A.J. Puckett was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the second round of the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft. He was previously drafted by the A’s in the 35th round of the 2013 draft but he decided to go to Pepperdine University instead.
In his junior and final season in college baseball, the phenom had a scorching 9-3 record with 1.27 ERA in 14 starts. That ERA was the third best mark in the history of the university and the WCC. The best part of that season was his 45.2 scoreless streak the third longest in NCAA history.
Last season the 21-year-old played for two teams getting 4 combined wins in 24 games. This season he was called up to the Wilmington Blue Rocks in A+ ball. In his first six games, he managed a nice 4-2 record with a 2.94 ERA. The California native also struck out 29 in his first 33 2/3 innings pitched.
Here’s the scouting report on him according to the MLB Prospect Pipeline:
Puckett sustained an epidural hematoma in his head in an off-field accident in 2011, resulting in him spending two weeks in a medically induced coma and ending his promising career as a high school quarterback. He made a full recovery and went to Pepperdine, where he was the West Coast Conference pitcher of the year in 2016. Puckett is more about pitchability than power. His best assets are his tumbling changeup, a legitimate plus pitch, and his advanced command. His fastball usually ranges from 90-94 mph with some run and sink, and his curveball can be an average third offering at times but lacks consistency. ETA 2019.
Here’s a good look at him in action:
A.J. Puckett has a couple of autographed cards in the market. Currently, his most popular is a 2017 Bowman Baseball Chrome Prospects Autographs card and that’s a good way to get him into your collection.
The Royals are loaded with prospects and he’s one of many. He will have to work his way to the top.