Astros summon Tucker for big league debut

Top Houston prospect crushed in June with .387/.427/.651 slash line

Kyle Tucker posted a. 306/.371/.520 slash line in 80 games with Triple-A Fresno this season. (Jesus Sepulveda/Fresno Grizzlies)

By Tyler Maun / MiLB.com | July 7, 2018 2:36 PM

Having conquered yet another Minor League level, Kyle Tucker is ready for the spotlight.

Houston summoned Tucker from Triple-A Fresno for his Major League debut on Saturday. The Astros' top prospect was in the lineup batting seventh and playing left field against the White Sox.

"We want him to play," Astros manager AJ Hinch told MLB.com. "Obviously I'm going to mix him in and everybody on our team plays. There will be days that he plays, days that he's off."

Video: Grizzlies' Tucker blasts two-two, two-run homer

Just 21 years old, baseball's No. 8 overall prospect has posted a. 306/.371/.520 slash line in 80 games with Fresno this year. The outfielder torched Pacific Coast League pitching in June, batting .387/.427/.651 in 26 games. His six home runs for the month were just one shy of his total from April and May combined.

"It was special," Tucker told reporters at Minute Maid Park of his big league call. "It's awesome just to be here and to get that news was great. I was super excited to get on that plane and come here. The guys in Triple-A, they all texted me congratulations."

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Tucker was just named a Pacific Coast League All-Star for the July 11 Triple-A All-Star Game at Huntington Park in Columbus. The 2015 first-round pick was also a midseason All-Star for Quad Cities in 2016 and has been named an MiLB.com Organization All-Star each of the last two years. Even in the midst of his torrid June, Tucker didn't dwell on a possible promotion.

"I don't get too caught up in that," he told MiLB.com on June 23. "It's my job to win games here. Our big league outfield is pretty great, and they're in first place, so I totally understand. It's not like I think I should be playing over [George] Springer."

His new manager had a different perspective.

"He's earned it," Hinch said. "He's played very well at Triple-A. He's been pretty hot recently. We've liked his at-bats. We've always liked the impact potential. We have some at-bats open for the next nine days before the break, and he can impact us. He made a big impression in spring. He did his job in Triple-A. The next test for him is going to be the big leagues."

Tyler Maun is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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