Houston Astros 2020 Year in Review: Kyle Tucker’s breakout

Outfielder Kyle Tucker had a solid season for the Houston Astros in 2020.

In 2020, the Houston Astros battled injuries with almost every starter, but one guy stood out — Kyle Tucker. He played in his official rookie season in 2020, because of the rule of 130 or more at bats. As an up and down player from 2018-2019, Tucker was a hyped prospect with “raw power” according to the Minute Maid jumbotron.

The Astros opened with an outfield of Michael Brantley, George Springer and Josh Reddick, but all these players are off contract as of now. Tucker on the other hand is still under team control and proved that he could be an easy replacement in the outfield. The lefty hitter has an interesting approach with the no batting gloves, but No. 30 put up All-Star worthy stats in 2020.

Regular Season

Tucker played in 58 of the 60 games this season ranging from left field to right field and some games as a DH. Over that stretch, he was above league average in many categories, while posting a .268 BA and an .837 OPS. He was off to a hot start in his short stint in 2019, and his numbers in 2020 mirrored what he was doing.

Tucker also racked up 42 RBIs, nine home runs, and led all of MLB in triples with six. From generally hitting between fourth and seventh, the tall lefty made his way through the lineup as a key power hitter to an easy on base guy. He had a hot start, but cooled down after pitchers figured out his pull happy swing.

Pitchers found out throwing outside will cause Tucker to roll over on the ball. Still, he was in my opinion the regular season MVP, mostly because of his ability to play both corners of the outfield with a fielding percentage of .989 and have All-Star numbers at the plate all without injuries.

Postseason

Tucker was a member of the 2019 Astros postseason roster, and in 11 starts, he batted .125, which is understandable coming from a young guy. Yet in 2020, he had something to prove. In three series, he posted an OPS of .750 in the ALWC, .824 in the ALDS, and .593 in the ALCS. The numbers fluctuate, but his availability and reliability made him an everyday player. Tucker has now played a full season in 2020 terms and has started every game in a playoff run.

The Future

We have been waiting on Tucker to show up for some time, and this season he really did it. The former first round pick was a huge upgrade from his brother Preston, who largely struggled in Houston, and after all the confusion and questions about Kyle, we all know now that the Astros made a great pick. This upcoming offseason will be a tough one for Houston, but they have a long term fix with Tucker.

Grade: A-