Houston Astros: Kyle Tucker still needs to be the 2018 starter at left field


The Houston Astros have transitioned through Spring Training with a 6-3-1 record after going on a hot 3-0 start of the ballyhooed tune-up period.  Although the record is meaningless, it’s a terrific time to see how our emerging talent is doing.  There has been one assertion — Kyle Tucker has been a beast since being unleashed.  Here’s why I think it’s time to keep the kid up in the big leagues for good.

What a time of renaissance for the Houston Astros.  This era will make a mark of having a distinction of having some of the most-talented teams in franchise history.  This isn’t your ordinary team and with the majority of our most-talented players having club control through early next decade, us fans are going to be spoiled for quite some time.

I know you remember the back-to-back triple-digit loss seasons, they were painful and although I questioned the process, I knew in my heart that general manager Jeff Luhnow knew what he was doing.  For a guy that was on the verge of being fired from his former employer, the St. Louis Cardinals, he has redeemed himself to be doing a pretty damn good job here in the Bayou City.

Speaking of that, let’s talk get to the meat of the point I want to make about the phenom of a talent we have in Kyle TuckerMLBPipeline.com has him as the team’s No. 1 prospect and is ranked 15th overall by Baseball America.

The Houston Astros have reportedly decided not to make Kyle Tucker a candidate to be on the Opening Day roster, despite the tear he has been on as of late at the plate. 

The 21-year-old first-round pick — 5th overall — of the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft has gone 5-for-13 along with three homers and eight ribbies thus far in Spring Training.  He certainly has made things difficult for the Houston Astros to not bring him up, especially after the three-run blast he hit to right field against the Cardinals just one week ago, a 7-3 triumph.

It was a 3-1 count against Tucker in the 1st inning and he was able to see a salivating plate of hot, steaming cookies as the high pitch from Miles Mikolas went right into his kitchen to affirm his candidacy as he being one of the best position player prospects in baseball today.  He’s also rated as the best hitter for average in 2017, as per Baseball America as well.

His timing of his swings is damn near impeccable, his spatial awareness of the strike zone is

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meticulous, not the mention that he has a hell of a glove in the outfield.  He’s speedy and his 6’4,” 190-pound frame is conducive to the type of elongated success this kid will have moving forward.

I know the Houston Astros are concerned about service time but he’s just one of those prospects that come by once in a google plex and some guys are just born-ready to make the leap into the majors.  It would be of great injustice if the team didn’t have that bat as well as his defensive presence, particularly out in the left field.

Although Derek Fisher is more than likely the presumptive starter in left come Opening Day, I think it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch.  But the franchise wants to ensure that Tucker has more time to cultivate on the farm but it’s only going to be a matter of time where you can’t hold him back much longer, especially if he continues to crush it in the minors.

Tucker’s slash line was .274/.346/.528 along with a .874 OPS coupled with 90 RBIs, 25 home runs, 127 hits, 33 doubles and 21 stolen bases through 464 at-bats with the Class-A Advanced Buies Creek Astros and Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks in 2017.

Next: Why the Astros should cancel the A.J. Reed experiment

Since he only has 72 games under his belt in AA, I’m positive they want to give him more time there, while making a hopefully brief promotion to Triple-A before rising to the majors.  I truly think that’s going to be this season with September, of course, being the latest that this would happen.

See you soon Kyle — go Astros.