Could Preston Tucker be a Dark Horse?


Preston Tucker (Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)

We know that the Astros have a plethora of prospects. You need to have something to show for all those years of losing. And it takes more than a few high profile future stars to gain respect and top rankings for your farm system.

With that being the case, it is possible that some prospects get lost in the shuffle. With all of the focus on George Springer and Domingo Santana in the outfield, it is understandable that people lose sight of others such as Preston Tucker. And that should not happen. It is well within the realm of possibility that Tucker ends up having a role with the 2014 Houston Astros.

The 2012 seventh round draft choice out of Florida has caught Bo Porter’s eye heading into Spring Training. And it is for good reason, as Tucker has shown through three levels of the minor leagues that he can hit.

"“You look at the numbers,” Porter elaborated, “and he was one of those guys that I kind of put an asterisk next to. I was excited to have him here at camp. Again you notice right away, it’s power to all fields. The pull power obviously speaks for itself.”"

After being drafted, Tucker hit .321 in 42 games for Tri Cities with eight home runs and 38 RBI’s. Last season the outfielder split his time between High-A Lancaster and AA Corpus Christi.

Tucker’s power remained consistent across the two levels hitting 15 home runs and driving in 74 runs in Lancaster while adding another 10 home runs and 29 RBI’s with Corpus Christi. But there was an adjustment for the outfielder as his average fell from .326 to .262.

But based on Tucker’s track record, I would expect him to rebound in 2014 and hit his way to Houston at some point this year. And that makes him someone all Astros fans should have on their radar.

"“It’ a chance to show how well I can mesh the older guys,” Tucker said, “and show that I can hang with better pitching.“High-A was similar to college ball. There’s the guys that you know are (the) guys, they’re really — good, and there’s obviously other pitchers that don’t have the MLB-caliber stuff. When you get to Double-A there’s an adjustment. Obviously I was expecting it. Double-A, it’s big-league caliber pitching. The guys are good. The reason those guys aren’t in the big leagues is one thing or another: command of fastball, breaking-ball stuff. It’s an adjustment period you have to go through. Obviously, the guys are better and it just takes a little while to get used to it.”"