For this edition of Keeping up With Astros prospects, we briefly interview Triple-A Fresno left fielder/designated hitter Preston Tucker. Tucker was drafted in the seventh round of the 2012 MLB draft. The former University of Florida outfielder is on a mission to fulfill his dreams of making the majors. For the 2015 season, it appears that his path to Houston currently blocked by Colby Rasmus. The Astros signed Rasmus to give Tucker some more time to develop and join Jake Marisnick and George Springer in Houston in the future.
Let’s take a look at Tucker’s stats prior to 2015;
In 14 games this season, Preston Tucker is hitting .310/ 5 home runs/ 18 RBI /.969 OPS with eleven strikeouts in 58 at-bats. He is having one heck of a good start to the season and looks to be ready when he is needed. While Jon Singleton might be the next player brought up, it’s not going to show Tucker’s game down. Earlier in the offseason, Tucker was my first interview as a writer for CTH, you can read some of his quotes here.
Let’s catch up with Preston Tucker’s season from his point of view.
CTH: What did it feel like to hit a home run versus an MLB arm in Garrett Richards?
Tucker: I know it was just a rehab start for him, but his stuff was good. I was just trying to battle with two strikes and finally got a mistake.
CTH: Have you hit homers off any other MLB arms?
Tucker: I’m sure I have, but I don’t remember.
CTH: In our last interview, you said that you were looking to be a better overall hitter. What adjustments have you made to lead to your success this season batting .350 (as of Monday)?
Tucker: I’m just trying to attack fastballs more than anything else. Not trying to do anything other than hit the ball hard somewhere.
CTH: Your strikeout percentage is a little higher this season (than career percentage), I know it’s early. Do you typically strike out more early in the season, then settle down later?
Tucker: I don’t think about my strikeouts. I know I’m getting to 2 strikes in the majority of my at bats, but I also feel more comfortable the more pitches I see. I know 4 of my home runs have come with two strikes so the excess of Ks might just be a byproduct of working deep counts.
CTH: It seems like the offense is scoring pretty efficiently in Fresno. What is leading to the team’s impressive start?
Tucker: I think it’s a combination of talent and major league experience we have in the lineup. We always seem to have guys on base, and we always seem to have guys at the plate who can do damage.
CTH: What has it been like to play with people with major league experience such as Jon Singleton, Alex Presley, L.J. Hoes, Matt Dominguez, and others? Have they imparted any knowledge to you?
Tucker: Playing with such a talented group of guys has helped my confidence and understanding of the game.
CTH: Does your swing fit Minute Maid Park?
Tucker: My goal is for my swing to fit any park. I’ve played there twice and loved it, so hopefully I get the opportunity to play there again soon.
More from Prospects
- Astros 1st-Round Draft Pick Drew Gilbert Done for the Year
- Astros Utility Prospect David Hensley Called Up to MLB
- Who Should the Astros Consider for a September Call-Up?
- Could the Astros Have 2 Rookie Catchers Next Year?
- First-Round Pick Drew Gilbert Already Called Up to Single-A
In my earlier article, I asked how Tucker felt hitting two home runs at Minute Maid Park in a minor league exhibition game last year. He said, “just playing at MMP was an unforgettable experience. And I feel more comfortable about playing there now. I just try to put together good at-bats and let the numbers work themselves out. My job as a hitter is to drive in runs, so the situation affects my approach.”
The Astros are starting to become relevant again, and not just for die-hards. I’m pretty sure Tucker will have a significant role on the Astros in the near future. If he continues hitting as he has been, maybe he will be catching the red-eye to Houston at some point this year. Thanks again to Preston Tucker for taking the time to offer his insight.
Here are links to my prior interviews:
Astros Prospect: Tony Kemp
Astros Prospect: Preston Tucker
Astros Prospects: Joe Sclafani
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