Houston Astros: Kyle Tucker now has a chance to prove his worth

Houston Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The 2020 season is Kyle Tucker’s opportunity to prove that he deserves a spot in the Houston Astros everyday lineup. Find out why below.

Kyle Tucker has been one of the Houston Astros‘ most hyped prospects for the past couple of seasons and for a good reason: Tucker has torn it up in Triple-A. Appearing in 225 games in Triple-A since 2018, Tucker batted .299 with 58 home runs,190 RBI’s, 50 stolen bases. Tucker also was one of only two minor leaguers to accomplish a 30-30 season in 2019.

While all the numbers show that Tucker is ready for the big leagues, he struggled to translate his success in Triple-A to the majors during his short stint with the Houston Astros in 2018. In his 72 plate appearances, Tucker hit for an extremely low batting average of .141 and a .236 on-base percentage. As a result, he was sent back down to Triple-A shortly after being called up to Houston.

But in 2019, Tucker was once again called up in September when rosters were expanded and this time showed signs of improvement. Tucker once again tallied 72 major league plate appearances as he did in 2018 but this time hit .269 with four home runs, 11 RBI’s, and stole five bases. In fact, Tucker’s performance impressed AJ Hinch and the Astros enough to earn him a spot on the postseason roster.

This season, it was expected that Tucker would split time in right field with his counterpart Josh Reddick. But recently Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome reported that the 2019 AL Rookie of

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the Year Yordan Alvarez had been placed on the 10-day IL due to “a condition that prevents them from reporting to the field.” Alvarez’s, who was expected to be the everyday DH in the Astros lineup, absence opens up a spot for Tucker to be a regular in the lineup, at least to start the season.

This opportunity to be an everyday player for the Astros comes at a perfect time for Tucker. With George Springer, Michael Brantley, and Josh Reddick, the Astros three starting outfielders, all set to be free agents in the upcoming offseason, Tucker can use this time to prove that he is the player that Houston should center building their outfield around in the future.

But if he struggles during this opportunity to produce then we might be seeing the last of Kyle Tucker in an Astros uniform. The Astros have been known to make big moves to help them in their playoff push, trading away top prospects over the past few seasons to bring in superstars Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke. If Tucker struggles to make an impact at the big league level, as he did in 2018, then he could just be the next piece that Houston uses to bring in another star player to help the Astros in their attempt to bring another title back to Houston in 2020.

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Ultimately, Tucker’s future with the Astros is in his hands. Tucker has the pop in his bat, the speed on the basepaths, and the glove in the outfield to make an impact in the majors, but he must find a way to produce at a consistent level in the big leagues like he has done in Triple-A the past two years.

What do you think?  Feel free to sound off in the comments section below.