Pittsburgh Pirates News: Cole Tucker And Bryan Reynolds Called Up


With yesterday’s collision in center field, the Pittsburgh Pirates have recalled their top shortstop prospect and a recent trade acquisition.

Last night in the eighth inning, infielder Erik Gonzalez and outfielder Starling Marte collided, leaving both players injured.  Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reported that Gonzalez left the park in a sling yesterday:

There hasn’t been an official update on him or Marte, but both players look to be headed to the Injured List as Stephen Nesbitt, also of The Athletic, has reported that Cole Tucker and Bryan Reynolds will be joining the Pirates.

Tucker, the Pirates 2014 first round pick, has hit .333/415/.579 in his first 66 plate appearances and 13 games in Triple-A Indianapolis.  The switch hitting shortstop is a projected 50 future value by the Fangraphs prospect team, projecting as an average starter and ranking fifth among Pirates prospects and 83rd in the game.  In his recent daily prospect notes, Eric Longenhagen wrote,

"“Having answered once-relevant, shoulder-related questions about his arm strength, Tucker is now seen as a plus-gloved shortstop who has good feel for contact. But because he still has this big, seemingly unfinished frame on him, we think it’s possible that he comes into power a little late, and he might take a sizable leap.”"

The 22-year-old is listed at 6’3″ and 205, so adding to that frame and getting into some power certainly isn’t unreasonable, with Fangraphs projecting 50 raw power and 40 game power.  He does already have three runs compared to his previous seasonal high of six, though that is coming with a switch to Major League baseballs, and if Tucker is able to get to more in game power his value certainly rises.

Bryan Reynolds, acquired for Andrew McCutchen, will also be recalled.  After hitting .302/.381/.438 in Double-A Altoona last season, the switch hitting outfielder is off to a .367/.446/.735 with five home runs start in Triple-A Indianapolis.  Perhaps the most encouraging sign is that Reynolds is starting to hit the ball in the air, having fly ball rates of 42.0 percent and 45.9 percent since being acquired by the Pirates.

Reynolds is a 45 future value according to Fangraphs and is the team’s ninth top prospect, with the following report:

"“The leg kick he had while with San Francisco is now gone, and the strength of Reynolds’ hands and his ability to move the bat head around the zone have led to sufficiently hard contact without it…. Much of Reynolds’ profile depends upon his ability to stay in center field and the general consensus is that he’s a 45 or 50 defender out there…. but ultimately he projects to be an average offensive player who is fine in center field.”"

Next. JT Brubaker Off To A Hot Start. dark

The Pirates have called up three prospects this season so far because of injury, though Reynolds and Martin will likely go down at some point when Corey Dickerson, Lonnie Chisenhall, Gregory Polanco, and now Starling Marte return.  Tucker has the best chances of staying up the rest of the year as the shortstop position has been a black hole for the club.