The Pittsburgh Pirates are desperately trying to figure out what talent from the previous regime should stick around. A former first-round pick is one of those in question.
In 2014 the Pittsburgh Pirates selected shortstop prospect, Cole Tucker, with their first-round pick. There was a lot to like about Tucker coming out of the Draft, projectable size, and athleticism to go along with the ability to be a plus defender at shortstop. Also, being a switch hitter is always a plus. Tucker was selected out of high school so there is always a risk in that, especially when using physical traits for projection.
Well, things have not gone well for the former first-round pick. Tucker has never really settled in at the Big League level and is running out of opportunities. Over the course of his career, Tucker is a career .211 hitter with an OPS of .574. He has played in 153 games which gives him plenty of a sample size to see that he just will not provide much with the bat.
This year Tucker is off to an even worse start compared to his career numbers. He is hitting .169 with a .390 OPS in 40 plate appearances. Being off to such a poor start has apparently led Tucker to try a drastic change to his offensive approach. He is dropping switch-hitting for the near term future:
With June approaching and the fear of Super-2 status goes away and many of the game’s prospects will start to surface to make their debuts. This will be the same for the Pittsburgh Pirates who are holding certain players down for service time reasons. Tucker needs to turn things around if he wants to stick around in the Majors. It is now or never, so it will be interesting to see if Tucker can have more offensive production as just a left-handed batter.