KBO 30 home run hitter → Exit from KIA → Minor bombing… Can Ha-sung Kim be a colleague?
Preston Tucker (33‧ San Diego) is selected as a player who has seen both sweet and bitter tastes in the KBO League. After signing with KIA in 2019,메이저놀이터 he performed well and succeeded in renewing the contract.
In 2020, his first full-time season in the KBO League, Tucker made a big success with a batting average of 0.306, 32 home runs and 113 RBIs in 142 games, keeping the KIA center batting line. Even foreign players who bombed the KBO League rarely achieved 30%, 30 homers, and 100 RBIs at the same time, but Tucker did it consistently. Ahead of the 2021 season, of course, the contract was renewed.
However, he became a completely different player within a year, disappointing fans and the club. Tucker struggled from the start of the 2021 season, batting just .237 in 127 games. He had just 9 home runs and 59 RBIs. His home run, RBI, and batting average all plummeted in one year. It was one of the best falls in the 2021 KBO League. The context of course has changed in a very different way from a year ago.
Tucker pushed for his return to the major leagues, but things didn’t go as planned. Last year he signed a minor league contract with Atlanta. Not many teams called him, so it wasn’t until April, after the season started, that he was able to settle down with the Atlanta Triple-A team. However, he had a batting average of 0.267 and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.773 in 75 games, and eventually failed to promote to the major leagues.
But this year, the first major league return since 2018 is being seen. Tucker, who signed a minor league contract with San Diego, is one of the best hitters on the Triple-A team this year. In 31 games until the 23rd (Korean time), he has a batting average of 0.310, 6 home runs, 19 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.052.
El Paso, a Triple-A team affiliated with San Diego, is a member of the Pacific Coast League (PCL). The PCL is traditionally a ride-to-ride league. So, there is an evaluation that Tucker’s OPS is somewhat overestimated. However, there are some parts where it is difficult to just let go of grades with an OPS of 1.000 or higher. If there is a vacancy in the San Diego outfield, it seems clear that Tucker will be a promising call-up candidate.
In San Diego’s outfield, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto are sure to be key players, and Gold Glove-class defender Trent Grisham protects the center. It is not easy to dig into the main composition. But it’s too early to give up hope. This is true in that San Diego is already in a slump in hitting.
It’s clear that Fernando Tatis Jr. is back and Juan Soto’s hitting is on the rise, but the rest of the players aren’t quite as satisfying. Tucker, who has experience in the major leagues and has a good sense of hitting recently, deserves to be a card that San Diego has in the minor leagues.
After receiving Houston’s 7th round (219th overall pick) selection in 2012, Tucker fulfilled his dream of making his major league debut with Houston in 2015. In 2015, he had a good record of 0.243 batting average, 13 homers, 33 RBI, and 0.734 OPS in 98 games. However, since 2016, his batting performance has declined and he has been back and forth between the major and minor leagues, and in 2018 he played 97 games between Cincinnati and Atlanta, but his batting performance did not recover.
If he is called up to the major leagues at some point this year, it will be his first major league appearance since 2018. In addition, you can meet Kim Ha-seong, who played against you in the KBO League, again. Tucker’s younger brother is Kyle Tucker, one of Houston’s leading hitters and expected to sign a major contract in the future. He leaves the possibility of meeting his brother on the ground.