5 things to know about Braves outfielder Preston Tucker

Feb 07, 2018
Bob Levey/AP
Houston Astros' Preston Tucker (20) doubles down the right field line against the Toronto Blue Jays in the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 14, 2015, in Houston. (AP Photo/Bob Levey)

In an offseason when the Braves didn’t make any standout additions, Preston Tucker has an opportunity to be one of the more impactful newcomers.

Here are five things to know about the 27-year-old Tampa native:

When acquired: Four days after sending Matt Kemp to the Dodgers, the Braves added Tucker to their outfield via a trade with the Astros on Dec. 20. Houston received a player to be named later or cash considerations.

What to expect: Tucker is expected to platoon with Lane Adams in left field opening day, assuming No. 1 prospect Ronald Acuna begins his season at Triple-A Gwinnett. A left-handed hitter, Tucker has produced 16 of his 17 career major league homers against righties.

Tucker, who had seven triples and 24 home runs last season in Triple-A, spent parts of two seasons in the majors with Houston in 2015-16 and hit .219 with a .274 OBP, 27 doubles and 17 home runs in 467 plate appearances over 146 games in that span.

Summary of career: Tucker spent all of last season in Triple-A, where he hit 24 home runs and seven triples. He played sparingly for the Astros across 2015-16. Most of that action came in 2015, when Tucker hit .243 with 13 homers in 300 at-bats.

Career highlight: Tucker was first promoted to the majors May 6, 2015. A day later, his first hit was a game-tying ninth-inning double off Angels closer Huston Street. It keyed a two-out rally in which the Astros scored five runs.

Something you didn’t know about him: Preston wasn’t the only Tucker in the Astros organization. Kyle, his brother, is a former No. 5 overall pick and the second-highest rated prospect in the team’s system. Houston turned away interest in Kyle Tucker, 21, when it was shopping for big-name help. He’s likely to debut this season and stands as the system’s best projected power bat, according to Baseball America.