Tucker ready for journey his big bro predicted

June 12th, 2020

CLEVELAND -- Pirates shortstop Cole Tucker had his celebratory tweet for his younger brother ready to post on Wednesday night.

About a month ago, a friend of Cole’s dug up a tweet from 2013 where the Pittsburgh infielder predicted that his then-10-year-old brother, Carson, would one day be selected in the first round of the MLB Draft. The friend texted the tweet to Cole, who then kept it in his back pocket for Draft night.

“[My friend] reminded me that I had tweeted that way back in the day,” Cole Tucker said. “And I thought to myself, like, '[Dang], that's crazy I might be right.' And I thought it would be a cool little Draft day tweet."

Exactly seven years and five months later, Cole’s prediction came true. He resurfaced the original post by retweeting it with the caption, “I hate to say I told you so,” surprising Carson with the memory.

“I actually had no idea,” Carson said when he was asked whether he knew Cole had found the old post. “I don't know if he was planning that or whatever he was doing. It was pretty cool to see. I mean, I completely forgot about that because that was a super-old tweet. When he put it out, that was pretty special.”

The tweet wasn’t the only thing about Wednesday evening that was special for the Tucker family. It’s a moment that every young baseball player dreams of, and it was finally the younger Tucker’s turn to hear his name called. After watching his older brother go through this process in 2014, the family was excited to celebrate Carson, a shortstop from Mountain Pointe High School in Arizona, getting selected by the Indians with the 23rd overall pick.

“I mean, obviously there was a lot of teams I talked with and stayed in touch with, but the Indians were definitely one of them and they're obviously a special organization,” Tucker said. “And, you know, having some friends that are obviously with the organization right now, they had all good things to say about [it] themselves. I was pretty excited to hear my name called from them, so that was a pretty special moment, and Cleveland's obviously a great organization overall.”

Carson already has an advantage, having worked out with guys like Cody Bellinger, Jamie Westbrook and befriending (and hitting home runs off) Indians players like Logan Allen, Daniel Johnson and Greg Allen. Spending so much time around professionals has allowed Carson to take in as much advice as he possibly can to prepare for his next step.

“Yeah, I think it's just knowing yourself and being true to yourself and whatever works best for you, you should go with it,” Carson said. “I mean, obviously, being open to any feedback from anyone that can help but also staying true to yourself and knowing what's best for you, that'll help you in the long run.”

But most importantly, he’s had his brother, who made his big league debut last season. And while the MLB season is usually well underway at this point in the year, the silver lining the Tucker brothers have been able to find during the COVID-19 pandemic is that Cole could be home through every step of the process.

“Having him here once we got close to the Draft and all that, it was definitely helpful because obviously he's been through it and my family's been through it,” Carson said. “So we kind of had a heads-up of what it was like with the Draft and all that. It's definitely something I didn't take for granted, and I'm really thankful for him being here and being a part of it with me.”

The Tucker brothers have been competitive for as long as they both can remember. Carson told MLB.com before the Draft that he believed he had a better hit tool than Cole, and Cole responded with, “Did he tell you I’m Mom’s favorite, though?”

The brotherly competition is always there, and you can bet that both noticed that Carson was drafted one pick earlier than Cole was in 2014 (24th). But Carson also said that he tries to use Cole as motivation on how to grow and develop as a baseball player.

“Anything he does, I try to do better,” Carson said. “I wouldn't say I compare myself to him, but I use it kind of as a goal, because obviously where he's at, I want to be a big leaguer also. But I just want to get better. He's definitely motivation for me, and we definitely help each other, whether it's baseball or just life in general. We talk a lot, we're really close. We have a really tight bond between me and him. So I definitely use him a lot for motivation and feedback and stuff like that.”

The Indians have high hopes for their first-rounder, who slashed .390/.455/.574 with 68 RBIs, 20 doubles, nine triples and five home runs in 92 games, according to MaxPreps, in four years at Mountain Pointe High School. Now, the two sides are doing what they can to make sure they finalize the deal before the Aug. 1 deadline.

“We're still talking about it and discussing it, but I'm just honored right now and trying to enjoy the moment being drafted by the Cleveland Indians,” Carson said. “Just with a great organization and people that I know that are in there all have good things to say about them. I'm looking forward to it in the future, but we'll see when the time comes.”