July 20, 2011
April 16, 2014
June 8, 2015
July 25, 2016
And now…. July 7, 2018
The Houston Astros have had a series of debuts of home-grown everyday players in the last few years. Some highly anticipated, some barely acknowledged. And now added to the mix is their latest hopeful for a long-term star career with the big club. Kyle Tucker.
July 20, 2011 – The year 2011, the Astros were in a free fall and had to reach mostly down to AA for assistance out of a very weak farm system. They pulled too young Jordan Lyles out of AAA, but Jimmy Paredes, J.D. Martinez and Jose Altuve (21 y.o.) made the jump from AA. Altuve who had been batting .389 in two minor league starts in 2011 made his debut on July 20th and Martinez (who has become a terrific power hitter – elsewhere) debuted 10 days later. Jose hit solidly with little power the rest of 2011, made the All Star team in 2012, played poorly in 2013 and then became a true superstar starting in 2014. Altuve’s call-up was not one the fans were clamoring for at the time, but was one of the big moments in Astros’ history.
April 16, 2014 – Now this was a call-up that the fans had been screaming for all through the 2013 season and coming out of Spring training 2014. In two minor league stops in 2013, former 11th overall pick George Springer was all-World with 106 runs scored, 37 HRs, and 108 RBIs. But the Astros who were going nowhere held him out of the majors for mostly financial reasons and he came up on April 16th at the age of 24 year old Springer was totally ineffective in his first half a month, then went crazy in May, cooled off in June and was injured for the rest of the season in July. While he is not the most consistent hitter, his high points have included an All-Star appearance and a WS MVP trophy.
June 8, 2015 – Being an overall first pick by the Astros in 2012, Correa’s debut was highly anticipated during his quick rise through the minors. A broken leg in 2014 cost him half a season, but he spent only 29 games at AA and 24 games at AAA before playing his first MLB game on June 8 at the age of 20. He went on to win the Rookie of the Year in 2015, was an All-star in 2017 and has established himself as one of the best, but slightly injury prone, young SS’s in the majors.
July 25, 2016 – If the Astros had not discovered Brady Aiken’s dodgy UCL….. If Aiken and his agent had not balked at the Astros’ lowered offer or subsequently raised offer. If not for this, the Astros would not have traded in their overall #1 draft pick in 2011 for the overall #2 draft pick in 2012 – Alex Bregman. Bregman was super solid in his quick rise through the minors and joined the Astros’ on July 25 in their disappointing bridge year between the 2015 playoff appearance and their 2017 WS win. Bregman struggled mightily at first going 2 for his first 38 ABs. He then turned it around and in his third season is proving to be one of the most solid and dependable bats on the planet.
July 7, 2018 – And now it is Kyle Tucker’s turn. The fifth overall pick of the 2015 draft has shown a strong bat at every level in the minors and as he is brought up he is sporting a .306 BA/.371 OBP/ .892 OPS line with 62 runs scored, 14 HRs, 66 RBIs and 14 SBs in 80 games.
The Astros don’t need Tucker to carry them. They just need him to learn the ropes and be a contributor in another drive towards the title.
- Was this the right time to bring him up?
- Is he going to be a Correa instant success?
- Is he going to be a Bregman or Springer, who struggles before “getting it”?
- Why did the Astros wait until Jake Marisnick was playing better to do this?
- What will happen next?