A look at Tucker and Whitley
If Rosenthal is correct, Tucker is not going anywhere if possible. Tucker is the younger brother of Preston was drafted with the fifth overall pick in 2015 after Alex Bregman went second. Since he was drafted, people have likened his swing to Ted Williams. Tucker seems to be on a fast track to the big leagues, but the Astros will take their time with him.
You can watch him play during the All-Star break for the USA Futures team along with Fisher. Yordan Alvarez was the other Astros prospect to be named to the International Futures team. Tucker deserves to be on the squad after his .282/ .356/ .550/ .905 slash line between High-A and Double-A. After a slow start in Double-A, Tucker now has 16 homers, and 61 RBIs with 17 steals on the year.
As a power-speed guy, you can see why the Astros want to hold onto him. Don’t expect to see him this year. They want to hold off his service time clock as much as possible. In a few years, the Astros will have to decide which of the young players they will try to retain. Tucker is the second overall Astros prospect and 27th overall by MLB Pipeline.
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Just how much better is the Houston Astros playoff rotation than the rest?
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer
As for Whitley, he was drafted 17th overall in the 2016 MLB Draft. He has drawn early comparisons to Josh Johnson. He is a tall pitcher (6’7”) who can throw in the upper 90s and with great secondary stuff with a curveball and slider. His changeup is pretty developed straight out of high school.
His stats are impressive at Quad Cities so far this year. He is 2-3 with a 2.91 ERA with 67 strikeouts in 46 1/3 innings. Once he moves up the ranks, he will accelerate to the top of the prospects list and could become a top of the rotation pitcher.
To acquire a certain player, Luhnow might have to compromise. Nothing is guaranteed, but a trade will hurt. However, the Stros are trying to win the World Series while they have such a big lead. The pitching flaws were exposed in June with injuries, but the rotation will be healthy soon.
***Stats from MLB Pipeline and Baseball-Reference***