In case you’ve missed it, the Houston Astros have one heck of a farm system. Of course there are the big names like Correa and Appel, but the entire system is stacked from top to bottom. One name that doesn’t get mentioned much in the media is that of 24-year old corner outfielder Preston Tucker. After receiving some time in Triple-A last season (73 games) he has started off the 2015 campaign with the Fresno Grizzlies. With the logjam of outfielders in Houston blocking his path, it begs the question: what is Tucker’s future with the team?
In his stint in Triple-A last season, Preston Tucker hit .287 with a .356 on-base percentage while clocking seven dingers and driving in 51. This season, in 12 games, he is batting .340 with a .400 OBP along with 5 homers and 17 rbi. Yes this is a small sample size, but at the pace he’s going he’ll have 30 bombs and 103 rbi in half of a season. Will he continue this pace? It’s safe to say that it’s not likely. If he continues playing at this high of a clip through roughly 500 Triple-A at-bats, he had 275 last season and 50 thus far this season, then a decision will likely have to be made in regards to Tucker.
If he thrives in the next 175 at-bats, that shows that he can handle the pitching at that level and that he’s worthy of a look in the majors. George Springer, Jake Marisnick, Robbie Grossman and Colby Rasmus block his path at the major league level, and Alex Presley is being paid one million dollars to be in Fresno. Add in Domingo Santana and L.J. Hoes, and there’s a giant wall in front of the finish line.
We could get an idea of the mindset of Houston Astros’ management in the coming days when Josh Fields is expected to be added to the big league club, following his rehab appearances. If the Astros remain at seven relievers and option Will Harris, then the road for Tucker will be difficult. If Joe Thatcher is released (like some are hoping) or they go with eight relievers Jonathan Villar is sent down (like some are speculating), then there is hope that Tucker will be in Houston based on his abilities, and the desire to put the best team on the field.
Now how the heck does he get there? While the torches may not be lit, the pitchforks are definitely out for Chris Carter to be shipped out, with Jon Singleton taking his place at first. The problem with trading Carter now is that his value is that of a power hitter who’s batting under .100 and has no home runs at the moment. One way to lure a team into giving up a little more would be to pair Carter with one of the outfield options, Colby Rasmus and his one-year contract making the most sense for Houston, creating room for Tucker.
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This has an outside chance of happening, but really depends on how much Jeff Luhnow has soured on Carter. The other option for Preston Tucker to reach the majors would be with another team. There are plenty of teams in the league that could use a promising young outfielder with years of control, and would likely be willing to strike a deal that works for both sides. While this isn’t the option that anyone is hoping for, it is one that could come to fruition if the price was right.
That’s where I leave it up to you. If the Astros were to trade Preston Tucker, what would your asking price be? Are you looking for major league talent? Sound off in the comments below, or tweet us your thoughts @astrosCTH!