Courtesy of the Hector Rondon acquisition late last week, the Astros had a decision to make on the 40-man roster.
Preston Tucker, the Astros’ seventh-round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, has been traded to the Atlanta Braves.
As of Wednesday morning, Tucker will now get an opportunity to compete for playing time on a major league roster. A rebuilding roster, sure, but it’s a better opportunity than Houston at the moment for Tucker.
The Astros designated Tucker for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster following the signing of right-handed reliever Hector Rondon.
At the end of the day, this is a good move for Tucker. He deserves a shot to stick somewhere in the majors.
In return, the Astros will either receive cash considerations or a PTBNL, otherwise known as a player to be named later. It’ll be interesting to see if general manager Jeff Luhnow can pluck an interesting player from the Braves’ system. After all, Luhnow sort of thrives on the under-the-radar acquisitions. See: Marwin Gonzalez; Collin McHugh.
The former seventh-round pick out of the University of Florida has had an up-and-down career with the Astros.
Tucker made his major league debut on May 7, 2015 against the Los Angeles Angels. He would finish the 2015 season with 323 plate appearances, 13 home runs and an 104 wRC+. The outfielder was worth 0.4 fWAR that season.
One key moment for Tucker in 2015 was his solo home run in the top of the ninth versus the Angels in mid-September as the Astros were in the midst of the playoff chase.
While the solo home run by Tucker only shortened the deficit from 3-0 to 3-1, it provided the Astros’ lineup a spark. Jed Lowrie would later hit a three-run home run to give the Astros the lead for good. This victory would help the Astros gain some traction following a rough August and September.
Following his 2015 debut, Tucker was projected to be a key part of the outfield rotation.
Unfortunately for Tucker, he would struggle in his brief time in the majors the following season. He would only appear in 48 games and post a 47 wRC+ for the Astros in 2016. He also suffered a right shoulder injury that kept his playing limited.
Tucker’s fortune did not change in 2017 as the Astros elected to keep him at Triple-A Fresno all season long. He would go on to post an 102 wRC+ and 24 home runs for the Grizzlies in 569 plate appearances.
At 27-years old, Tucker now gets an opportunity to crave out a full-time on a major league roster. The Braves roster is in flux and Tucker could provide some value in their outfield. To his credit, Tucker seems excited to start the next chapter of his career.
This unfortunately ends the idea that he and his younger brother, Astros’ top prospect Kyle Tucker, will be on the same major league roster anytime soon.
Anyway, we at CTH wish Tucker all of the best with Atlanta. We hope he is able to earn a chance to prove himself on the biggest stage once again.
**Statistics and information courtesy of Fangraphs**