Astros News

Astros: Kyle Tucker has come alive at the plate

WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 23: Kyle Tucker #30 of the Houston Astros at bat against the Washington Nationals during a Grapefruit League spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on February 23, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 23: Kyle Tucker #30 of the Houston Astros at bat against the Washington Nationals during a Grapefruit League spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on February 23, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker’s bat has come alive in recent days.

One of the biggest storylines of this Astros Spring Training is the competition between Kyle Tucker and Josh Reddick for playing time in right field. Tucker got off to a dreadfully slow start, but his bat has awakened now.

Tucker started out 0-for-16 this spring with one walk. But in his past two games, he’s gone 4-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, a walk and two RBIs. He’s also scored twice and totaled nine total bases.

His overall numbers for the spring still leave something to be desired. He sits at a .190/.250/.429 line in 21 at-bats, but it’s a rapid improvement from the hitless line he was sporting just a few days ago.

The Competition

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Through 12 at-bats, Reddick is slashing just .083/.214/.083 without an extra-base hit. Coming off a poor season at the plate in 2019, he needs to get things going sooner rather than later.

There’s still some time to see how both of these players look before the regular season starts. Both will be on the Opening Day roster if healthy, so it’s just a matter of manager Dusty Baker figuring out how to allocate playing time between the two.

George Springer will get most of the starts in center field, with Michael Brantley getting most of the action in left. This leaves Tucker and Reddick to fight for time in right, and it may come down to Baker riding the hot hand.

There’s no obvious platoon situation here, with both of them being left-handed hitters. Reddick gives you better defense, but Tucker has more power and more upside. It will ultimately be Tucker’s job for the future with Reddick being a free agent after this season, but how the playing time will be divvied up for 2020 remains undecided, or at least unannounced.

For the time being, Tucker appears to have hit his stride while Reddick is still trying to get going. This will be something to monitor closely as Spring Training continues.

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