Plant alum Kyle Tucker promoted to MLB

By Jarrett Guthrie 
jarrettguthrie@813preps.com 

Astros OF Kyle Tucker.
(photo courtesy of MLB.com)
Plant High baseball coach Dennis Braun shared via text that former Panthers standout Kyle Tucker was promoted to the Major Leagues by the Houston Astros on Friday night and will be in uniform at home as the Astros take on the Chicago White Sox Saturday afternoon.

Tucker was the fifth pick of the first round of the 2015 MLB First-Year Players Draft, and has spent the 2018 season with the Astros AAA affiliate the Fresno Grizzlies. This season, Tucker an outfielder, is hitting .306, with 14 home runs, 24 doubles, 66 RBI and 14 stolen bases across 80 games. In 2017 across Class A and AA, the left-handed hitting Tucker hit 25 homers and drove in 90 runs.

Tucker joins an Astros team that already has a Hillsborough County connection in one of the heroes of last year’s World Series championship, Jesuit alum Lance McCullers, Jr.

McCullers is currently 10-3 for the Astros with a 3.41 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 18 starts this season.

Tucker will be the third former Plant Panther to play in the majors this season joining current Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Mychal Givens, and Tucker’s older brother Preston Tucker, who is currently with the Atlanta Braves AAA affiliate – the Gwinnett Stripers – after beginning the season with the Major League club and playing in 56 games.

There are also two more former Plant players making the rise in the minor leagues right now as first baseman Peter Alonso is playing in the New York Mets organization and was selected to represent the Mets in this year’s Futures Game held each year during the MLB All-Star week, this year in Washington, D.C.; and Jake Woodford, who was drafted in the same 2015 MLB draft as Kyle Tucker in the supplemental first round, No. 39 overall by the St. Louis Cardinals. The 21-year-old righty-handed pitcher is currently pitching for the Cardinals AAA team, the Memphis Red Birds.

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