Tucker, 27 next week, is coming off another excellent season at the plate. He hit 29 home runs, just one beneath the even 30 he hit in each of the previous two campaigns. He also drew walks in 11.9% of plate appearances while striking out just 13.6% of the time. For reference, the major league averages in those categories were 8.6% and 22.7% in 2023. Tucker’s .284/.369/.517 batting line translated to a wRC+ of 140, indicating he was 40% above league average.
His defensive metrics slipped a bit in 2023 but he’s been solidly above average in his career overall. On the basepaths, he stole 30 bases last year, setting a new career high. He swiped 14 bags in 2021 and then 25 the year after.
Tucker first qualified for arbitration last offseason and went to a hearing with the Astros. He filed at $7.5MM but the arbiters opted for the club’s $5MM salary instead. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected him for a jump to $12.6MM but he has settled for a salary just beneath that. He will be eligible for another raise in 2025 before he’s slated to reach free agency.
He and the Astros have had some extension talks in the past but the two sides didn’t appear to make much traction. Regardless, he’ll head into 2024 as part of an outfield that’s also slated to feature Jake Meyers and Chas McCormick, with Yordan Álvarez perhaps spending some time there as well when he’s not serving as the designated hitter.