Preston Tucker, who played for the KIA Tigers in the KBO, signed a major league contract with the San Diego Padres after blowing up Triple-A in the minors.
‘MLB.com’ reported that the San Diego Padres signed Preston Tucker to a major league contract on Nov. 19 (KST). Upon signing the major league deal, Tucker was 안전놀이터 immediately transferred to the disabled list (IL).
Tucker is no stranger to the local fan base. He is the older brother of Houston Astros’ Kyle Turcun, who also played in the KBO. Tucker last played in the KBO when he signed with the KIA Tigers prior to the 2019 season. Tucker burst onto the scene in his rookie season, hitting .311 with nine home runs, 50 RBIs, 50 runs scored, and a .860 OPS in 95 games.
The good form continued into his sophomore year. Tucker had a “career-high” season in 2020 with 166 hits, 32 homers, 113 RBIs, 100 runs scored, and a .955 OPS in 142 games, which earned him a contract with KIA for the 2021 season. However, his third season left much to be desired. Due to a combination of slumps and injuries, Tucker only played in 127 games and only managed to hit .237 with a .684 OPS. As a result, Tucker was no longer with KIA and returned to the United States.
After parting ways with Kia, Tucker signed a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves, where he played 75 games at Triple-A last year, hitting .267 with nine home runs, 47 RBIs, 37 runs scored and a .773 OPS, but never received a call-up to the big leagues. Prior to this season, he signed a minor league deal with the San Diego Padres to start over.
His performance with San Diego’s Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas was reminiscent of his 2020 KBO season. In 44 games this year, Tucker literally “bombed” Triple-A, hitting .342 with 10 home runs, 36 RBIs, 43 runs scored, and a 1.126 OPS in 52 at-bats.
Tucker has been out of the lineup recently with a foot injury. However, San Diego decided to hold onto Tucker before he left the team via an ‘opt-out’ after his breakout performance in Triple-A. Because of this, Tucker signed a major league contract with San Diego and was moved to the disabled list.
When Tucker returns from the disabled list, he will be paired with Kim Ha-seong, who has been an adversary for three seasons in the KBO. San Diego has a solid outfield of Trent Grisham, Juan Soto, and Fernando Tatis Jr. so he’s expected to play primarily in center field or as a pinch hitter.
Tucker, meanwhile, is hitting .222 with 133 doubles, 23 home runs, 68 RBIs, 65 runs scored and a .684 OPS in 243 games over three career seasons, including stints with the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds after debuting with the Houston Astros in 2015. Can Tucker shake off his injuries and continue to show the good form he had at Triple-A in the big leagues?