Kyle Tucker continues to struggle, and until the Houston Astros see these three improvements, there isn’t much that can be done.
Hype is a nasty thing. When a player is hyped, it’s expected that they’ll set the world on fire with every swing. After all, the Houston Astros did pick Kyle Tucker with the fifth overall pick in 2015 and he proceeded to have himself a time in the minors.
That’s where hype begins. Drafted high, hitting well in the majors, a player with so many tools—it’s only a matter of time before that translates to the Majors.
But Kyle Tucker’s “matter of time” is taking, well, a lot of time. We’re twenty games into the abbreviated season now and he still can’t keep his batting average safely from the Mendoza line, his power numbers aren’t there and he continues to look baffled at the plate.
Kyle Tucker is getting his chances, so here are three improvements he needs to make
Let’s boil it down to specifics. What do the Houston Astros need to see from Kyle Tucker before he can truly ground himself in the pros?
Glad you asked. Let’s start with No. 3.
Note: All stats are as of 8/15.
3. Be patient
The obvious one. Kyle Tucker will seemingly swing at anything and everything. He leads the Astros in swing percentage with a whopping 58% (Jose Altuve is in a distant second at 47%), he leads the Astros in swings outside of the zone with 39%, he leads the Astros in swing-and-miss percentage with 14%.
It’s been a whiff-tacular year for Kyle Tucker thus far.
As you can see, he needs to better identify pitches. Not just when it comes to laying off pitches out of the zone, but taking pitches in the zone. He swings at 81% of pitches in the zone—sixth-most in all the Majors.
That’s not being selective.
Maybe it’s just more time in the majors, maybe it’s some extra time in practice, but Tucker has to start learning how to identify pitches before he’s left hacking blindly at whatever comes his way. When he connects, it’s a beautiful thing, but the more he flails, the more pitches will take advantage of this lack of discipline.
On to No. 2.