Pittsburgh Pirates: 2021 Infield & Catcher Player Grades

Cody Flavell
Sep 26, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates designated hitter Colin Moran (19) celebrates with catcher Jacob Stallings (58) and third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes (13) after hitting a three run home run during the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates designated hitter Colin Moran (19) celebrates with catcher Jacob Stallings (58) and third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes (13) after hitting a three run home run during the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 01: Cole Tucker #3 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a grand slam during the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on October 1, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 01: Cole Tucker #3 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a grand slam during the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on October 1, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Cole Tucker

GRADE: C-

2021 Stats: 43 games, .222/.298/.342, 2 home runs, 12 RBI, -0.6 WAR

Saved by the bell, eh?

Cole Tucker put his finest performance yet on display last Friday with two circus catches and a game-breaking grand slam. The game is easily his best yet at the major league level and he deserved the praise that followed.

Another first-round shortstop, Tucker struggled in the minors and seemed blocked for most of the year until the Pirates gave him more time down that stretch to really prove himself. Tucker did bat .271 in the span since Rick Eckstein, the Pirates’ former hitting coach, was relieved of his duties.

Is it possible it was all in his former approach? Maybe. It could also be entirely coincidental. Regardless, Tucker didn’t have a great offensive season.

dark. Next. Previewing 2022 Triple-A Roster

His pedigree will likely keep him around next season and there is no problem with that. The Pirates could even try to continue to work with him on his out-fielding skills so that there is an extra avenue for playing time with so many middle infielders in the pipeline.

2022 could be his crossroads season if things go rather poorly.

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