Tucker mashes home run in MLB debut

Cole Tucker becomes the 79th former Power player to make his MLB debut

Cole Tucker, a fan-favorite in Charleston, smashed a home run in his MLB debut April 20 with Pittsburgh. ( )

By David Kahn / West Virginia Power | April 21, 2019 9:06 AM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (April 21, 2019) - With the Pirates placing both Starling Marte and Erik Gonzalez on the injured list, infielder Cole Tucker was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and made his MLB debut Saturday, April 20, with the Pittsburgh Pirates against the San Francisco Giants at PNC Park. Tucker is the 79th former Power player to make his big league debut.

Tucker, batting in the leadoff spot and playing at shortstop, was very influential in the Pirates' 3-1 rain-shortened win Saturday afternoon. The former first round pick blasted a two-run shot to straightaway center off Derek Holland for his first MLB hit, breaking a 1-1 tie in the fifth and providing the eventual game-winning knock. 

The 2014 draftee had previously been with Triple-A Indianapolis to start the season, averaging .333 with three homers, seven RBI and five stolen bases in 13 games, including an active five-game hitting streak. 

After spending his first year in the minors in the GCL, Tucker played 73 games with the Power in 2015 and 15 more in 2016 before getting promoted to High-A Bradenton. In his lone full season in Charleston, Tucker averaged .293 with two homers and 25 RBI, earning himself the first of his three MiLB.com Organizational All-Star honors with the Pirates (2017 and 2018). 

The Phoenix, Ariz., native split 2017 between Bradenton and Double-A Altoona, where he garnered his lone Midseason All-Star nomination in the Florida State League. His 2018 campaign saw him notch career highs in home runs and RBI, with five and 44 respectively, as he turned in his first full year with the Curve. 

Tucker played in 457 career Minor League games before making his MLB debut, boasting a career .269 average with 20 home runs and 166 RBI. 

Following the league's first off day Sunday, West Virginia kicks off its second homestand of the season Monday night with the first game of a three-game series against the Columbia Fireflies. First pitch from Appalachian Power Park is set for 7:05 p.m. RHP Clay Chandler (1-0, 0.53 ERA) heads to the bump for the Power, while the Fireflies send righty Jose Butto (0-2, 5.68 ERA) to the slab. Pregame coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on The Jock 1300 and 1340 AM, as well as online at wvpower.com and via the TuneIn Radio App and MiLB First Pitch App.

The second Family Buck Night of the season jump starts our week-long homestand. Fans can purchase box seats for $3.00 and general admission tickets, hot dogs, popcorn and 12-ounce Pepsi products for just a buck! For tickets and more information, call us at 304-344-2287 or visit wvpower.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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