The Houston Astros are starting to see some bonafide results out of Kyle Tucker, but his improvements aren’t done yet, and that’s good news.
As I wrote about yesterday, the signs are all pointing to a clear and obvious fact—Kyle Tucker is the real deal, and if everything goes right health-wise, he will be a huge piece of the Houston Astros puzzle moving forward.
The signs are all there—his plate discipline, his ability to square up the ball, his batting when behind in the count. All of it. He’s just getting better almost across the board.
But that doesn’t mean that these new improvements take him to the height of his potential. No, not even close. That .262 average is sparkling right now, and the fact that he leads the team in home runs and RBIs is delectable, but there are still improvements to be made, and that’s just where the good news begins.
The Houston Astros need Kyle Tucker to do the easy things too
Kyle Tucker is doing all the hard things—he’s hitting left-handers, he’s hitting when behind in the count, he’s hitting with runners in scoring position.
That should be celebrated. Most veterans can’t say they hit the ball better in tougher situations.
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But it also brings about the improvements we still get to look forward to seeing. Why is it Kyle Tucker hits .320 through an 0-2 count but just .200 through a 2-0 count? Why is it Kyle Tucker hits .379 with runners in scoring position but just .172 with the bases empty? And why is it he hits left-handers at .314 and right-handers at .236?
It’s not like those are small differences. In most cases, those are .100 point differences of more. Kyle Tucker is making a living on hitting the ball in difficult situations. That’s equal parts strange and exciting.
But it also means that the next step towards improvement is making life easier on himself. Take advantage of better counts. Take advantage of seeing the ball longer from right-handers. Take advantage of no-pressure situations. If he starts hitting when he’s supposed to hit, what will his numbers look like then? He’s already leading the team in so much just by doing the dirty work, so when he starts taking advantage of the easier side of baseball (comparatively speaking), the results are going to be pretty incredible.
There are always ways for any player to improve, but seeing Tucker excelling at the hardest parts is just added value to his stock.