Photo courtesy of Purple Row.
The Seattle Mariners signed utilityman Cole Tucker to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Tucker, now 27-years-old, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft. Tucker performed well in the low minors for the Pirates in his first couple of seasons of pro ball. He made his MLB debut for the Pirates in 2019, hitting .211 with 2 homeruns but had issues with putting the ball in play and struck out 40 times in 159 plate appearances. He played parts of the next 3 seasons for the Pirates, but never produced much at the plate. In the field, he showed the ability to get to the ball and was competent at second base, shortstop and some time in center field. The Pirates designated Tucker for assignment in late 2022, and he was claimed by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Tucker never got to play for his hometown Diamondbacks and elected to enter free agency. He signed a minor league contract with the Colorado Rockies last season and had a productive season for their AAA affiliate Albuquerque, hitting .280 with 5 homers. He got back to the majors with the Rockies and had 4 hits in 8 at bats before being outrighted back to the minors. After the season, he once again elected to enter free agency.
Tucker is an athletic, switch-hitting utility man who won’t hurt his team in the field. He has a better swing and approach from the left side of the plate than the right. He has plus speed on the bases and is able to play all 3 outfield positions as well as 2nd base, shortstop and third base.
Tucker gives the Mariners another option off the bench that will at least add some much needed depth at Triple-A. With Dylan Moore, Sam Haggerty, and Josh Rojas battling also for infield/reserve spots, Tucker faces a challenge in making Seattle’s opening day roster.
Draft Nation News- 1st round pick (24th overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2014 MLB Draft.
*** His brother, Carson, was a #1 pick of the Cleveland Guardians in 2020.