Astros #4 Prospect Kyle Tucker Promoted
By Larry Manch
Astros Class-A Report: Quad Cities River Bandits (August 14-20)
Astros prospect Kyle Tucker was promoted on August 16 to the Advanced-A Lancaster JetHawks. The #4 prospect in the organization spent the first 101 games of the 2016 season with the Quad Cities River Bandits of the Class-A Midwest League before this move. The 2015 First Round Amateur Draft pick is the younger brother of Astros outfielder, Preston Tucker.
Tucker, 19, was the Astros second pick and the fifth overall in 2015, signing out of high school. His first professional assignment in 2015 was the Gulf Coast League Astros, where he played 33 games, batting .208/.267/.317, with two home runs and 13 RBI. He advanced later that summer, to the Greeneville Astros of the Appalachian League (upper-level Rookie), appearing in 30 games. He proved the promotion was warranted, batting .286/.322/.393.
The 2016 season saw Tucker in full season Class-A at Quad Cities. Over the course of the Midwest League season, he experienced highs and lows, but overall showed a level of consistency guaranteed to earn him an eventual promotion. His numbers with the River Bandits were not spectacular, but worthy of advancement. Tucker hit .276/.348/.402, with 19 doubles, five triples, and six home runs. He led the team in runs (43), hits (103), RBI (56), total bases (150), walks (40), and stolen bases (31), while making only three outfield errors.
The dry desert air of the California League will likely inflate his batting numbers. However, Tucker is expected to continue his rise through the Astros minor league system. He will probably start the 2017 season with Lancaster, with a promotion to Double-A Corpus Christi possible around mid-summer.
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- #10 Albert Abreu was promoted on August 18 to the Lancaster JetHawks. Although his record was 2-8 over 21 games/14 starts with the River Bandits, over his last ten appearances, his ERA was 1.09 in 49.2 innings.
- #13 Franklin Perez, is 3-1, 2.83 over his last ten games.
- #27 Stephen Wrenn is batting .262 in his first 20 Midwest League games but is up to .300 over the last ten.
- Former River Bandit Keach Ballard, who has been playing for Lancaster, on August 14, jumped over the Double-A Hooks and was assigned to the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies. Six days later, Ballard returned to Lancaster.
- IF Ryne Birk, recently promoted to the River Bandits from Tri-City (NY/Penn League) is batting .323 with four doubles and a triple in his first seven games with Quad Cities.
Next: Astros Minors: Fresno Player Spotlight- Jandel Gustave
Quad Cities went 2-5 this week. Next week, (August 21-27), the River Bandits play one versus Kane County, four at Cedar Rapids, and the first two of four at home against Wisconsin.
** Statistics provided by MiLB.com. **