Player Profile: J.B. Shuck

J.B. Shuck was a standout at Ohio State University as both a hitter and a pitcher. He was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2006 and was drafted by Ed Wade and the Astros in the sixth round of the 2008 draft. The left-handed swinging outfielder moved quickly through the Astros system, hitting right around .300 at every level. He was invited to Spring Training last season after playing only 36 games at the AAA level in 2010.

Shuck had a nice spring and probably should have made the Opening Day roster, but the Astros chose to send him to AAA so he could play every day. After earning PCL All-Star honors Shuck finally got the call and made his big league debut on August 5. Shuck hit .272/.359/.321 in 37 games with the big club.

I think Shuck projects as a fourth outfielder and pinch-hitter at best. He has the potential to hit for a high average but doesn’t walk much and is not a power threat. Shuck can play all three outfield positions and has a decent throwing arm. He has good speed and covers a lot of ground in the outfield. But speed alone does not a base stealer make. Shuck has only been successful on 62% of his attempted steals in the minors, including 20 of 31 last season at Oklahoma City.

The Astros outfield situation is a crowded one. Shuck could once again find himself on the outside looking in. With minor league options remaining, I would expect J.B. to be shuttled up and down between Houston and Oklahoma City at least a couple of times in 2012. Shuck will need to show continued improvement if he intends to stick with the big club.

Topics: Astros, J.B. Shuck, Oklahoma City Red Hawks, Spring Training

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  • Stroscrow

    From what I’ve read about Which he plays the game hard, and has been described as a player who outplays his talent level. You definitely hit something with the speed issue. Shuck has speed but lacks a little on the baseball instincts. Base stealing is an issue, and he often gets bad jumps on balls in the outfield.

  • Stroscrow

    From what I’ve read about Which he plays the game hard, and has been described as a player who outplays his talent level. You definitely hit something with the speed issue. Shuck has speed but lacks a little on the baseball instincts. Base stealing is an issue, and he often gets bad jumps on balls in the outfield.

  • Its Gonna Happen

    I like Shuck a lot and he would make a great CFer, if he was fast enough to play a good CF. He doesn’t have the power to be a corner OFer but his high average bat would be great for a CFer. The problem is his speed or “instincts”, aren’t good enough to play in CF. If he’s able to maintain his hitting capability without playing much, he’ll be a fantastic 4th/5th OF and LHB of the bench. Question is does he need to play everyday to be able to hit like he does?

  • astrosince1975

    I agree that Shuck doesn’t quite have the desired skill set to be an every day corner OF and his instincts on defense would need to improve to play center in such a spacious park. Even though RF is still up for grabs I don’t really view Shuck as a candidate. Their are plenty of other candidates that have higher ceilings. I like him a lot as a PH/extra OF. Shuck turns 25 this season and 2013 will probably be his last year with the organization if he doesn’t raise his game.

  • Its Gonna Happen

    I like Shuck a lot and he would make a great CFer, if he was fast enough to play a good CF. He doesn’t have the power to be a corner OFer but his high average bat would be great for a CFer. The problem is his speed or “instincts”, aren’t good enough to play in CF. If he’s able to maintain his hitting capability without playing much, he’ll be a fantastic 4th/5th OF and LHB of the bench. Question is does he need to play everyday to be able to hit like he does?

  • astrosince1975

    I agree that Shuck doesn’t quite have the desired skill set to be an every day corner OF and his instincts on defense would need to improve to play center in such a spacious park. Even though RF is still up for grabs I don’t really view Shuck as a candidate. Their are plenty of other candidates that have higher ceilings. I like him a lot as a PH/extra OF. Shuck turns 25 this season and 2013 will probably be his last year with the organization if he doesn’t raise his game.

    • Stroscrow

      @astrosince1975 Agreed. Shuck is nice as the 4th outfielder type.

  • Stroscrow

    @astrosince1975 Agreed. Shuck is nice as the 4th outfielder type.