Top Pick Tucker On His Way

Young SS happy to soak it all in

Jim Colony
March 10, 2018 - 10:08 am
cole tucker

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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With Opening Day now less than 3 weeks away, it’s time to set the clocks ahead and for the Pirates to send a number of players back to the minor league camp.  Pitchers need more innings and hitters need to start bundling at bats and there simply aren’t enough of those in Grapefruit League games to go around so the 61-man roster will be cut significantly.

One of those who will go is shortstop Cole Tucker and it has nothing to with his .111 average (1-for-9 with 5 strikeouts, a double and 2 walks); he could be 8-for-9 and would still go down in the next day or 2. That’s because it was the plan all along – to let the former first round pick soak it all in. And he has.

“Definitely really cool,”: Tucker says, “it’s obviously something you work for and you’re excited when you get the call you’re going to big league camp; just a really cool experience to learn from these guys.”

And Tucker doesn’t have to go very far to learn. “You see where my locker is,” he smiles, “I’m next to Freese, Sean-Rod, J-Hey, Jordy – there’s a wealth of knowledge in that corner and I’m just soaking it in whenever I can.”

“I’d be lying if I said I don’t want to get to AAA, I don’t want to get to  big leagues,” Tucker admits, “So you work toward that and it kind of fuels you but you’ve gotta be where your feet are. It’s nice to have goals and aspirations but I can’t get there unless I perform where I am, whether that’s Bradenton, Altoona or Indy.”

The 21-year old Tucker was the 24th player chosen in the 2014 draft out of high school and after spending the entire 2015 season at Low A West Virginia he has been a mid-season call-up the last two years and figures to start this season in Altoona with a good chance of getting promoted to Indianapolis in June or July.