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Bucks Add Cedar Rapids Native

Waterloo, Iowa – The Waterloo Bucks have announced that left-handed pitcher/first baseman AJ Puk has signed to play with Waterloo for the 2014 season.  Puk (pronounced PUCK),baseball-085 a freshman at the University of Florida, is the 22nd player to be named to the Bucks’ roster for the team’s 20th season.

This season for the Gators, Puk has seen action on both the mound and at the plate.  The 6’7”, 225-pounder has pitched in six games, starting three.  Puk owns a 1-2 record with a 5.14 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 14 innings.  As a batter, Puk is hitting .211 with two RBI in 19 at bats.

“I'm very excited to continue the partnership with the University of Florida and to be able to have another player from state of Iowa on the team,” said Bucks field manager Travis Kiewiet.  “We have a lot of great baseball talent here in the state and AJ is no exception.  AJ was part of a highly touted recruiting class for Florida this year and we are going to ask him to fill a few roles for us this summer.  He'll pitch for us as well as hit with the possibility of seeing some time at first base.”

A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Puk was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 35th round of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft.  Puk played baseball at Washington High School where he was named a first team Preseason All-American by Rawlings and was ranked as the number five left-hander in the Class of 2013 final rankings by Perfect Game. 

The Bucks will open the 2014 season on the road versus the Rochester Honkers on May 27, but return to Waterloo for their home opener versus Rochester on May 28.  Season tickets and group outings are currently on sale.  For more information, call the Bucks’ Ticket Line at (319) 232-5633.  Fans are encouraged to stay in touch with the Bucks in the off-season by utilizing their website at www.waterloobucks.com.

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The Waterloo Bucks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League.  Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind.  A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB).  All league games are viewable live and free of charge via the Northwoods League YouTube channel.  For more information, visit www.waterloobucks.com.