For the second time this season, Rockies infielder/outfielder Cole Tucker went unclaimed on waivers and has been assigned outright to Triple-A Albuquerque, per the transaction log at MiLB.com. Tucker was designated for assignment earlier in the week. Because he’s already been outrighted once, he’ll have the option of rejecting this assignment in favor of free agency.
The 27-year-old Tucker joined the Rockies on a minor league deal over the winter and has twice been selected to the Majors, though he’s only tallied 10 plate appearances (during which he’s gone 4-for-8 with a walk and a hit by pitch). He’s spent the rest of the season in Albuquerque, where’s he’s appeared in 70 games and batted .280/.391/.407 in 321 plate appearances.
Selected by the Pirates with the No. 24 overall pick back in 2014, Tucker was considered one of Pittsburgh’s top prospects for the better part of five years but has yet to put things together in the Majors. He’s played in 159 big league games and tallied 479 plate appearances across parts of five seasons, but he has just a .216/.266/.318 batting line to show for it. His .250/.350/.382 batting line in four Triple-A campaigns is a clear improvement but still doesn’t stand out in and of itself. Tucker had top-of-the-scale sprint speed when he debuted in 2019 (90th percentile of MLB players, per Statcast). He’s slowed a bit, dropping from an average of 28.8 feet per second to 28.3 ft/sec, but that’s still good enough to rank in the 75th percentile of MLB players.
Tucker has primarily been a shortstop in his professional career, with more than 5500 innings at the position (including his minor league work). The Pirates and Rockies began bouncing him to other positions in recent years in order to improve his versatility. He’s since logged at least 375 innings at each of second base, center field and right field, with briefer stints at first base, third base and in left field.