ATLANTA -- Preston Tucker displayed power potential during his 2015 rookie season and then faded from the spotlight as the World Series champion Astros continued to evolve over the past two years.Tucker will now attempt to take advantage of the opportunity he was given on Wednesday afternoon, when the Braves
ATLANTA -- Preston Tucker displayed power potential during his 2015 rookie season and then faded from the spotlight as the World Series champion Astros continued to evolve over the past two years.
Tucker will now attempt to take advantage of the opportunity he was given on Wednesday afternoon, when the Braves acquired him from the Astros in exchange for cash or a player to be named. The 27-year-old outfielder had been designated for assignment on Friday, when Houston needed to create a 40-man roster spot for reliever Hector Rendon.
With Matt Kemp being traded to the Dodgers this past weekend, the Braves will have to determine how to fill their left-field void. Top prospect Ronald Acuna will likely win one of the outfield spots early next year. But if the Braves choose to delay the start of his service clock by keeping him in the Minors at the start of the season, Lane Adams or Tucker could garner some starts before eventually transitioning into a backup role.
Tucker hit 13 homers and produced a .734 OPS over the 300 at-bats he tallied for the 2015 Astros. But since compiling a .551 OPS over 144 plate appearances for Houston in '16, the left-handed slugger has remained at the Minor League level.
While spending the entirety of this past season with Triple-A Fresno, Tucker batted .250, belted 24 home runs and constructed a .798 OPS. His younger brother Kyle is rated the Astros' top prospect by MLBPipeline.com.
To create a 40-man roster spot for Tucker, the Braves designated right-handed reliever Luke Jackson for assignment. Jackson produced a 4.62 ERA over 43 appearances for Atlanta this past season. If he is not claimed by another club, he would likely be optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett's roster.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.