The Houston Astros have designated outfielder Preston Tucker for assignment. He was always a well regarded prospect in the Astros system, but never their top guy. Still, along the way he posted OPS’s in the .800-900 range between Rookie ball and Triple-A.

Where he struggled, though, was in the Majors. In 2015 he got an extended look with the Astros for 98 games. He showed some solid pop, but hit just .243/.297/.437. That was after posting a .938 OPS in Triple-A in 33 games. In 2016 he played in 48 games in the Majors and struggled significantly more, hitting just .164/.222/.328 and watching his strikeout rate skyrocket.

In 2017 he spent his entire season in Triple-A. He made some strides, particularly in cutting down on his strikeout rate. He only had an 18% strikeout rate during the season, and he posted the highest walk rate of his career, too, 11.4%. Preston Tucker also showed off some pop, hitting 20 doubles, seven triples and 24 home runs. He didn’t hit for much average, posting a .250 average. His walk rate boosted his on-base percentage to .333 – a solid, but unspectacular rate. He also slugged .465 along the way. In total, that made him about a league average hitter in the Pacific Coast League.

For someone who turned 27 in July, you’d like to see more production in Triple-A. Preston Tucker is a name you’ve probably heard of, but he’s also a corner outfielder who hasn’t had any Major League success and while he’s been good in Triple-A in the past, he wasn’t in 2017, either. It’s tough to see exactly how he fits into the Reds situation right now.

45 Responses

  1. Simon Cowell

    If he can’t play center on a regular basis then he would be a waste a time, money, and energy for a franchise already well stocked at the corner outfield positions.

    • Norwood Nate

      I agree. We need someone to back up CF. We have plenty of options for the corner spots as it stands now, even off our 40-man with Goeddel, Elizalde, etc. Even if we move someone, I don’t think we’ll be hurting to find guys to play there.

    • asinghoff

      I never understand this logic. All he has to do is be an improvement above the current option to have a place. More or less, people say “well, we have a guy so we don’t need him.”

      Now I’m not saying Tucker will be an improvement, but if every spot on the roster got upgraded by close to a quarter point of WAR, you’re looking at a 6 to 7 win improvement on the overall roster.

      Now granted, outside factors like contract length and dollar value play a huge factor in things, but at the end of the day, the more (wins,) the merrier.

  2. Colorado Red

    Have to agree, we do not need another corner outfielder at this time.
    PASS

  3. Bill

    If he makes it through waivers, I think he would be worth the claim. The Reds have two open spots on the 40-man roster. If we trade Duvall or Schebler as I anticipate we will, Tucker could have a role as a LH power bat off the bench. He also has an option remaining. If we come across better options for the 40-man later, we can still DFA him.

    • Wes

      I’m with you bill. No big commitment and nothing to loose. Sign em and let him play in Louisville and see if he can earn a spot

    • Norwood Nate

      If they could claim, DFA, and stash I think it would be a good move to add depth. Similar to what the Reds did with Goeddel and Guerrero last offseason. Just no guarantees that this will be possible as there will quite a few teams after the Reds in the waiver order that wouldn’t have had the opportunity to pass on him by the time the Reds would place a claim. But probably worth the money it takes to fill out the paperwork so why not give it a try?

      I don’t think it makes sense as a claim to keep on the 40-man though. Too many moving parts and other needs to address first.

  4. Wes

    Sorry all u cozart lovers. I’m sure the contract gets ya seeing red.

  5. Shamrock

    We’d be better off dragging Preston Wilson out of retirement.

  6. MK

    No. I believe Sebastian Elizalde can do everything this kid could do and he is already safely in rhe organization and deserves first shot ar any spot Tucker might fill.

  7. Daytonian

    Definitely. Pick him up. There’s nothing to lose here. This is a low-risk, low-cost no-brainer.

  8. Shawn

    I there ‘ll be better players at position of need come available later. Remember when and how we got scooter

    • Doug Gray

      If that’s the case, you could always just DFA him to make room for that player.

  9. Arnold Ziffle

    How many OFers at Louisville can hit with Tucker’s power?
    ZERO.
    Some will chime in with Elizade. Don’t have any love for him. I’d take a dozen Tucker’s over one Elizade.
    Pick up Tucker and waive Elizade if you have to.
    Make a claim.

  10. Arnold Ziffle

    This has been the most disappointing off-season in over a decade. Worse than the last 2 years combined.
    Wake us up when Dick Williams ACTUALLY DOES SOMETHING POSITIVE.
    What a dud GM.

    • Doug Gray

      It’s December 16th.

      More than 20 teams didn’t make a single move at the winter meetings to alter their expected 25 man roster.

      • Datdudejs

        How many teams let a 5 Wins above replacement level player leave their organization for zero return? How many teams have a terrible bullpen and 2 open 40 man roster spots and added no one in the rule 5 draft in a year where there were more high upside arms than an average year?

      • Doug Gray

        The Reds couldn’t trade Cozart at the deadline because every contender had a younger or better shortstop. And then he got hurt to top it off. And if they had offered him a qualifying offer, well, everyone would have said it was a crazy risk because, well, it was a crazy risk. It’s why no one thought they would actually do it – because no one would have actually done it.

        The rule 5 draft is a thing we like to pretend brings in good players. But the reality is that every few years there is a guy or two, in the entire rule 5 draft, that does much of anything. There were guys I would have taken this year. But they were taken before the Reds had a chance.

      • Datdudejs

        Thy definitely COULD have traded him. They might have had to settle for a low ball offer, but they still could have gotten something for him. If they weren’t happy with the offers they were getting for him they should have resigned him. Instead they let him leave for absolutely nothing in return

      • MK

        If those Rule 5 guys available when they picked were that good they would not have been Rule 5 guys.

    • Greenfield Red

      I’d rather him do nothing than give away players for less than market value. I bet DW could get value equal to the return on Chapman in 5 minutes for Iglasias… Todd Frazier too for that matter. I’d rather he stick to his guns and make the right moves.

      • Datdudejs

        Iglesias is in a completely different contract situation then either of those players when they were traded, so I don’t really understand your point.

      • Greenfield Red

        The point is that you just want him to do something positive. Maybe something positive isn’t available at this time. He doesn’t want to give away quality whether it be Iglasias, Duvall, Hamilton, or Gennett. While I’d like something to get done, I’m willing to wait, and if need be do nothing.

        I think they missed out on the Gohara trade of Cozart a year and a half ago, but otherwise, I think he’s done a pretty good job of acquiring talent so far… although I’d like for more to have been done internationally last year.

        Peace

      • Norwood Nate

        Greenfield, I agree with you. I’d rather not take less than market value than to make deals for the sake of making deals (or the inpatient fanbase happy). None of Iglesias, Duvall, Hamilton, or Gennett need to be traded this offseason, none are on expiring deals. It makes sense to discuss all these players, and I think we’re seeing that happen (although little action on Gennett at this point but the 2B market seems pretty saturated at the moment). They should accept nothing less than a haul for Iglesias. It doesn’t appear teams want to do that at this point, and there were a lot of relievers that were FA’s. They don’t have a ready replacement for Hamilton, so not accepting less than they were asking from the Giants makes perfect sense, especially as there’s interest from several other teams. Add in the fact that the Giants farm system is pretty mediocre I believe it’s absolutely the right move to stand their ground for Ramos.

        As a side note: The Cozart for Gohara deal that didn’t get made was still under Jocketty’s tenure as GM.

    • Billy

      I don’t understand it. What was the benefit of making the trade only to release the players? Why not just release them yourself?

      • The Accountant

        This trade was about manipulating contracts and payrolls for 2018 and 2019.

        Kemp owed approx 21 million in both 2018 and 2019.,
        The players going to Atl are owed approx 50 million in 2018 and only ~1 million in 2019

        LA wants to get below 197 million in payroll this year (2018) to avoid their payroll penalty going from 20% to 50%. This deal saves them approx 30 million in 2018.

        Atlanta wants to free up money for 2019, to improve their chances of signing the free agents that will be available then. (that class is expected to have some big names….eg: Bryce Harper)
        This deal frees up 20 million or so in 2019 for them.

        As Brad said…..very creative deal. It works for both teams.

      • Greenfield Red

        With Reds payroll at only about $70 million as of now, it would have been interesting to see if they could have been on the receiving end of that Dodger trade. They the Bailey contract they could have moved in exchange for taking on all of that money… and also receiving a really good prospect like maybe Alex Verdugo.

        I will say however, that I’ve not given up on Bailey piecing together a couple of good years on the end of this contract so maybe it wouldn’t have been good for the Reds to do.

      • Bill

        Greenfield … those are great points, I thought Verdugo would have been a good target for the Reds with the Dodgers. One point of clarification, the Reds opening day projected payroll is currently $98M per Baseball Reference’s database that factors in projected arbitration and non arbitration contracts in addition to just under $70M for players with contracts.

  11. David

    You are absolutely correct, Datdudejs, the Reds knew that Cozart was not coming back. At least, they should have known; everyone with a working pulse did. The way this organization pinches pennies, they should have taken a couple of scratch-offs, and saved themselves about 1.8 million dollars in salary. I see no reason why DW and friends would have had any qualms with accepting a low-ball offer. After all, they don’t mind tanking entire seasons.

    • Datdudejs

      They handled the Cozart situation poorly, and I’m glad someone else has noticed it. I get a little tired of everyone jumping down your throat the minute you point out something that was clearly handled poorly.

      • Jim t

        You have know idea what the conversations were concerning Cozart. Trading him just to get some kind of return is not a good move. Not offering him a QO was also a good move. Allowing him to test the. FA market to gauge interest other clubs invest was the right move. You let the market set the price and you negotiate from there. If it is a price you can afford you make a offer. As it turns out it wasn’t. Best of luck to Cozart. The reds took the right course of action.

    • Wes

      Jocketty handle cozart situation very poorly. Pretty sure everyone on this site would agree w that. But he was hurt last July and the nationals were to stubborn to part w Robles. So the situation panned out the way it did. I’m sure there was a couple other teams that wish they would have acquired cozart when playoffs started but they elected not to and I’ll commend Dick for not giving players away. When you do that you set the bar low for future trades. Just like Miami did trading- so if reds sold off some guys at same time Miami did- then the team acquiring talent would want to pay what Yankees and St. Louis paid. So Dick balked at that and waits patiently which I commend him for.

      For reds to get to top they gotta be patient and nearly perfect with contracts and gm decisions.

      • Bill

        Doubt the Reds would have insisted on getting Robles back in a trade for Cozart … first time I’ve read that.

      • Wes

        Ilglasis and cozart woulda made them NL favorites. Instead Nats bat some dude you have never heard of before and then got rocked late in games and got knocked out of playoffs….Now they are probably gonna loose Harper and window is shutting.

        Not to mention how ilglasis could have prob been WS MVP. All that series needed was a lights out closer imo for either team.

        When being critical of management- nationals not pulling trigger on a lights out back end closer along w reliable bat is certainly one of the worse in past decade. Cozart and ilglasis was exactly what they needed last year and this coming season. Possibly cost them atleast 1 title. Doesn’t matter how good Robles is going to be. Trading him to win it all would have been totally worth it

      • Bill

        Yes, i can’t imagine the Reds having any interest in trading Iglesias to the Nats, without Robles coming back.

  12. MikeinSoCal

    I’m wondering why the Braves were interested in Duvall. They traded Kemp away supposedly to open a spot for prospect Ocuna. They needed a 3B. Were they going to use Duvall at 3B? Wouldn’t think that would of been wise. They got Culberson who I’m guessing will play 3B.

    Good for Cozart getting a good contract. But I don’t know about 3B. Charging those balls at 3B is going to be tough on the legs. 2B would be a better spot for him, imo.

    • Shamrock

      Chances are that he’ll play about 275-300 games in the next three years as a below average offensive 3rd Baseman in the AL

      Truthfully, I had higher hopes for Todd Frazier back when we gave him away for Schebler
      (i honestly don’t count Peraza as even that good of a utility player)

      Would have liked to have at least gotten a Schebler-Lite in return for Cozy though…

    • Daytonian

      Duvall can actually field. Kemp no longer can. Duvall has more upside than Kemp does, as Kemp is clearly on the slide-down side of a long career. Duvall’s future pop may even be a bit more that what Kemp can offer. None of this should come as a great surprise. And it wont’ be a surprise if Culbertson actually winds up at SS until ATL gets their prospect fully ready for full-time MLB play.

  13. Hingle McCringleberry

    Picking him up wouldn’t make any sense. No upside st 27. I would rather bring up people who deserve it like Irvin and Elizalde . I think it’s stupid to pick someone just because. You wanna know how he’s gonna play, think Stubbs and Hamilton. How about kearns, heisey. He’s in that mold of player. Good lord, use what you have for Christ sakes.