Four Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects That Made An Impact This Spring
Shortstop Cole Tucker
As Opening Day looms, shortstop is a bit of a mess for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Neither Erik Gonzalez nor Kevin Newman appear to be capable of playing shortstop on a daily basis at the MLB level. However, one of the two are going to win the job.
Luckily for the Pirates and their fans, shortstop should not be a problem spot much longer. The reason for that is Cole Tucker.
The former first round draft pick has always been a Gold Glove caliber shortstop. In fact, Tucker could probably win a Gold Glove at shortstop right now. However, his bat has always lagged behind.
Over the course of the past nine months Tucker’s bat has started to come along. After finishing the 2018 season with two strong months at the Double-A level, Tucker then had a strong offensive showing in the Arizona Fall League.
Tucker’s offensive momentum then rolled into Spring Training. Tucker played in 12 Grapefruit League games before being optioned to Triple-A. In these 12 games Tucker slashed .389/.450/.889 with two home runs, a double, and a triple.
2019 will be a big season for Tucker. He will begin the season as the starting shortstop at the Triple-A level, and, in his first taste of Triple-A action, he needs to continue to improve offensively. If Tucker hits well at Triple-A and Gonzalez and Newman struggle, it is not out of the realm of possibility that we see Tucker manning shortstop for the Pirates at some point in 2019.