Kyle Tucker is as close as possible to the Houston Astros as an untradable prospect.
There is no such thing as an untradable prospect in MLB baseball. If there were an untradable prospect, his name would be Kyle Tucker. Many of the rumored deals for starting pitching this offseason revolved around Francis Martes and Tucker. The Astros rejected possible trades for Chris Sale and others because they wanted to hold onto those players.
On last night’s Talking Stros on SportsTalk 790, we spent a good chunk of the show talking about possible trades. I have felt for a while that the Astros wanted to hold onto Tucker at all cost. Drafted three picks after Alex Bregman in the 2015 draft out of high school, he has ascended to Double-A already.
Teams were asking for both Martes and Tucker this offseason and more. The Astros held their ground. I believed that Martes was the one they wanted to hold onto, but seeing how he has pitched this year has changed my view. Martes could be an ace at some point, but he needs to work on control and stretching out.
Why does everyone love Tucker?
MLB Pipeline top 100 prospects list has Martes as the 15th and Tucker as the 29th overall prospects in baseball. After a hot start at Buies Creek, the new High-A team, he was promoted to Corpus Christi. Tucker is not known for his speed but has 14 steals between levels this year. His slash line is .283/ .363/ .541/ .905 with ten homers and 45 RBIs in 54 games. Yesterday he went 1-5 with a double.
Some have compared his swing to Ted Williams, and he has shown why the Astros drafted him high. There is a strong chance that he could be a big part of the Astros success as soon as 2018. As was pointed out on Talking Stros by a caller last night, Nori Aoki and Carlos Beltran could be gone.
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A substitute for Tucker has risen.
Had Houston made a trade this offseason, they would have had to trade Tucker. Now, another prospect has risen through the Astros minor leagues. That would be Derek Fisher who has raised his trade value with his season. Fisher is a centerfielder who is major league ready. We talked about how he is ready, but the Astros will not bring him up in case he struggles.
Now the Stros can make Fisher as one of the headliners of a trade instead of Tucker. Well, that at least what they will try to do. Potential trade candidates will continue to ask, and the Astros will politely refuse. Could Tucker be traded? Yes, but they would have to be overwhelmed to do so. This will be an enjoyable couple months with trade rumors and speculation.
This will be an enjoyable couple months with trade rumors and speculation. Maybe the Astros will say to an opposing team, you can have any four of the top-ten prospects not named Tucker. That is what my Talking Stros co-host Brandon believes will happen.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***