COLE TUCKER
SHORTSTOP
Born: July 3, 1996
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 185
Bats: Both
Throws: Right
Drafted: 1st Round, 24th Overall, 2014
How Acquired: Draft
High School: Mountain Pointe (AZ) HS
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

The Pirates took Tucker with their top pick in the 2014 draft.  Tucker was not rated as anywhere close to a first round talent, ranking anywhere from the 60s to the 80s with the various draft mavens, raising the suspicion that the team was either drafting for need rather than taking the best player available, or looking to save money from their bonus pool to use on later picks.  Tucker was climbing draft boards just before the draft, though, in part due to a strong performance in a major tournament.  As a result, several teams after the Pirates were considering Tucker as a possible first round pick.  Just the same, most observers seem to have seen him more as a second than a first round pick.

Tucker’s has good speed.  His offensive value comes mainly due to his projectability as a hitter, as scouts think he’ll add strength to his tall, lean frame.  He’s a better hitter from the left side.  I haven’t seen anything, though, to indicate that scouts believe he’ll eventually have more than gap power.  Tucker has a good arm and hands, and some but not all scouts think he’ll stay at short.  Moving to third, of course, would greatly decrease his value unless he adds power.  Tucker committed to Arizona, but wasn’t considered likely to be difficult for the Pirates to sign.  He was one of the younger players in the draft, as he didn’t turn 18 until July.  He agreed to terms just a few days after the draft.  His bonus was $1.8M, which was just $125,500 under slot.

2014
R:  267/368/356, 180 AB, 6 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 26 BB, 38 K, 13-18 SB

Tucker had a solid debut as one of the younger players in the GCL, showing good patience and some power.  He had a large platoon split, posting an OPS of .785 against RHPs and .580 against LHPs.  He also showed some good speed.  In the field, he committed 13 errors, but many of them came early — six in his first seven games at short — when he was playing with an arm injury.  Tucker finished well, batting 278/343/400 in August.

It’ll be interesting to see where the Pirates assign Tucker in 2015.  They’ve typically sent top hitting prospects to West Virginia for their first full seasons, but Tucker is not as advanced as, say, Josh Bell, Reese McGuire or Austin Meadows.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MiLB.com

HS
BA
OBP
SLG
AB
2B
3B
HR
BB
K
SB
CS
2014 .405 .505 .774 84 8 4 5 13
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2015: Minor league contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $1,800,000
MiLB Debut: 2014
MLB Debut:
MiLB FA Eligible: 2020
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2018
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
June 5, 2014: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1st round, 24th overall pick; signed on June 12.