Houston Astros: Trend – Who’s Hot, Who’s Not – Vol 2
Tuck isn’t clicking right now. Over the past two weeks, Kyle Tucker is hitting .182, with a .528 OPS to go along with 11 strikeouts and only one home run. The homerun pitch? A 62 MPH pitch from Angels catcher Anthony Bemboom.
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Tucker isn’t all that far off when you dive into the numbers. Tucker is facing the shift 90% of the time, but that doesn’t seem like that’s the problem. The outfielder isn’t pulling the ball all that much, is maintaining a high exit-velocity on his and is barreling the ball (9.6%) more than he did last year. This early season slump might be more linked to him hitting the fastball. Last year, Tucker hit .362 against the fastball and was walking 7.9% if the time– he’s only hit .182 against the fastball for April and walked 6.8% of the time. If he’s not chasing off-speed and is able locate opponent’s fastballs, he’s a monster that’s gonna rake.
Tucker might have turned a small corner this weekend. He got three walks on Friday, then went 2-3 with another walk on Sunday against the AL Champion Tampa Rays. Showing more plate discipline should generate more pitches in the zone that he can whack.
Tucker has been great on the bases and has made some big strides as a defensive outfielder. I feel like Tucker is close to getting hot at the plate and when he does (when, not if) this team will jump up in offensive production. It’s only a matter of time.