Draft pick Tucker completes deal with Astros
High school outfielder, Preston's brother, was fifth overall pick
HOUSTON -- Considering Preston Tucker is seven years older than his brother, Kyle, they never had a chance to play on the same team while growing up. That made being able to wear the uniform at Minute Maid Park on Monday afternoon something special.
The Astros agreed to terms with Kyle Tucker, the fifth overall pick in the MLB Draft, on Monday to a deal worth $4 million, according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. Tucker, a prep outfielder from Tampa, Fla., is the highest drafted outfielder in club history. Brother Preston is an Astros starting outfielder.
"It's great to be a part of a Major League ballclub," said Kyle, who will report to the Astros' Gulf Coast League affiliate in Kissimmee, Fla. "It's always something special, and having the opportunity to hopefully one day play with my brother is something special."
Alex Bregman, the second overall pick of the Draft, remains unsigned. Tucker signed for slightly below the fifth overall draft slot's value of $4,188,700.
The younger Tucker, who towers over his brother, took batting practice with the Astros prior to Monday's game against the Rockies, and admitted there were some nerves. Still, his smooth left-handed swing gave a glimpse of why the Astros drafted him.
Kyle Tucker, 18, was named the Gatorade Florida Baseball Player of the Year after hitting .484 with 10 home runs, 27 RBIs and 29 runs scored in his senior year at Plant High School in Tampa. The 6-foot-4 Tucker has more upside than his older brother, but possesses similar talents and a strong makeup.
"It's awesome," Preston said. "I was hoping it would happen soon. I didn't know how things were going to work out. They had a physical and everything checked out. He's excited. And it's nice to have the family in Houston here as well."
Astros scouting director Mike Elias said the Astros scouted Kyle heavily for quite some time and said he has everything they look for in a high school hitter.
"He's had a track record of performance when we've seen him, not only in his high school games, but we spent a lot of time watching these kids over the summer with wood bats against the better pitchers, who ultimately end up being pro pitchers," Elias said. "He performed very well every time we've seen him. He's got a great swing, he's got a full frame that's going to fill out and continue to add strength.
"He's a really good defender and can run and throw very well. He's a polished outfield glove. He really does a little bit of everything, and we're excited about getting a big left-handed bat with some projectability and some power potentially, but above all that, we knew what kind of kid he is. He works hard and has a good makeup."
The Tuckers' parents, Mike and Lisa, and sister, Hannah, were in Houston for the signing.
"They've always talked about playing together for many, many years and always played at the same complex, the same Little League, the same high school," Mike Tucker said. "They just haven't had the opportunity to play on the same team, in the same game, on the same day."
That could change one day.