Astros Minor League Spotlight: Preston Tucker is off and running in Fresno

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Jul 22, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Preston Tucker (20) runs toward third base after hitting a triple against the Los Angeles Angels in the fifth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 22, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Preston Tucker (20) runs toward third base after hitting a triple against the Los Angeles Angels in the fifth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Astros Outfielder Preston Tucker showed promise back in 2015 but struggled in 2016.

Preston Tucker is off to a hot start in 2017 and looks to establish himself in Houston. The 26-year-old Astros outfielder hasn’t quite found his niche in the Major Leagues yet. He is an intriguing player as he has solid power from the left side of the plate. Tucker has a smooth swing, and his raw power allows him to drive balls to all fields. He runs and fields well enough to make him a solid corner outfielder.

After putting up strong numbers in his debut year 2015, Tucker was sidelined for most of the 2016 season. To stay relevant in Houston, Tucker needs to rebound with a strong showing this season. So far, he has done just that.

Tucker has done it all offensively for the Grizzlies. He has hit 8th, second, 4th, and even hit in the lead-off spot in one game. He’s seen time in the corner outfield spots and has been written in as the Designated hitter several times.

The outfielder is currently hitting .341 and has hit safely in nine straight games going into Thursday’s game. He has three doubles, two home runs, and has only struck out eight times in 44 at bats. He has 10 Runs-batted-in and continues to slug for Fresno.

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Tucker is part of a very talented Fresno Grizzlies team that is off to a slow start. The team is 6-8 despite the production of Tucker and company. Last week, I wrote about the other two outfielders in Fresno, Teoscar Hernandez and Derek Fisher, and how those two were carrying the team. Add Tucker in there, and the on-base machine that is Tony Kemp, and Fresno has a very potent offense.

The Astros have a stacked farm system as far as the outfield goes. The younger brother of Preston, Kyle Tucker, is tearing the cover off the ball at Buies Creek, and Daz Cameron has played better early. With all this depth, Preston tends to be overlooked. The Astros addressed their outfield in the offseason to push for a championship by adding established major league players in Josh Reddick, Carlos Beltran, and Nori Aoki. This leaves Tucker in a predicament. He could start in left field for several major league clubs, and that depth is what makes Houston a special team.

Next: Three Astro Underperformers thus far in 2017

Preston Tucker is a valuable bat, and his performance at Fresno may dictate his future. So far, he is making a statement and has slugged his way back to the discussion. It will be fun watching Tucker in Fresno in 2017.

***Statistics courtesy of www.milb.com***

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