Astros: It’s hard knowing what Kyle Tucker could be

Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Kyle Tucker is getting his shot to make it with the Houston Astros, but knowing what he could be makes it hard to keep expectations realistic.

I call it the Yordan Alvarez affect. Everyone that doesn’t immediately click on being called up to play with the big boys in Houston is immediately frustrating to Astros fans who have grown accustomed to stalwart young talent. That’s where Kyle Tucker finds himself.

It’s rarely a good thing to have your swing described as “pretzel-y,” but if you come up with a better way to address it, I’m all ears. It’s just hard to watch him swing the bat sometimes, especially when he isn’t hitting well. Which he isn’t.

On the season, Tucker is at .206 with a home run and nine RBIs. Credit for the RBIs, but the lack of consistent hitting is hurting. And I can’t even go the BABIP route that I did with Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman. His BABIP is .279, which isn’t far from the league average.

Kyle Tucker just isn’t clicking, and believing in him makes it even harder

It’s not hard to see where it’s going wrong. The dude swings at 40% of pitches outside of the zone. That’s even more than last year.

And what so often comes with swinging at pitches outside of the zone? Poor contact. He’s hitting more balls softly than ever before. He’s hitting more ground balls than ever before. He’s also pulling the ball far more than ever before, at a whopping 60% of the time. He only went above 50% once in his career in the minors. Once.

Tucker is swinging at balls out of the zone, rolling over on pitches, pulling groundballs into shifts, and all this amounts to season stats like he has thus far. Which is hard to handle when you’ve seen him in the minors. In the minors he goes oppo twice as much or more than he does in the majors. He hits groundballs about 10% less often in the minors.

Getting used to major league hitting is a big step, but we’ve seen what Kyle Tucker can do, thus the expectations are there for him to do it in the majors as well.

Next. Debunking The Myth That Altuve Is Struggling. dark

I wish I could swoop in here and tell you that there’s been improvement these past few games, but there just hasn’t been. His numbers are pretty much the same as they’ve been all year. When he connects with a ball, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s just a matter of getting that to be commonplace, not the opposite.