The Rockies are in agreement with utilityman Cole Tucker on a minor league contract, reports Mark Feinsand of MLB.com (Twitter link). He’ll receive an invitation to big league Spring Training.
Tucker was a first-round selection of the Pirates, going 24th overall out of an Arizona high school in 2014. For the next half-decade, he appeared among the top ten prospects in the Pittsburgh system at Baseball America. A speedster who saw a fair bit of time up the middle of the diamond, Tucker never consistently performed offensively at the upper levels. He owns a .238/.333/.372 line over parts of three Triple-A campaigns.
Despite that tepid offensive output in the upper minors, Tucker got MLB looks with the Bucs in each of the past four seasons. He’s combined for 469 plate appearances at the top level, hitting .211/.259/.314 with five home runs. He’s walked at a below-average 6% clip while striking out 27.5% of the time. The Pirates waived Tucker at the start of June, and he landed with the Diamondbacks. Arizona ran him through outright waivers a month later, and he qualified for minor league free agency at the end of the season.
Now 26 years old, Tucker will join the third organization of his career. He offers the Rockies a solid athlete with the ability to play everywhere other than catcher. Coors Field offers plenty of ground to cover in the outfield, so Tucker’s plus speed would make him an interesting depth outfielder if he shows enough offensively to earn a big league job.
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