The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that Cole Tucker, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2014, had surgery to repair the labrum in his right shoulder and will miss 10-12 months. Tucker was ranked as the 19th best prospect in the team’s system.
With the Single-A West Virginia Power this season, Tucker batted .293 with two home runs and 25 RBI to go with an OPS of .699. Tucker also had 13 errors which is currently the second highest total on the team.
Just before the end of Spring Training this season, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington made what many called an aggressive promotion by having Tucker start the season with the Power.
When he was drafted, Tucker’s selection was not the most popular as he was viewed as second or third round talent.
The 19-year-old Tucker was subject to trade rumors in late July as he was rumored to be dealt to the Colorado Rockies as part of a Troy Tulowitzki signing. This was aided by the fact that he was left out of the starting lineup. Tulowitzki ultimately was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Tucker called the potential trade scenario as crazy and checked his phone following the game in question to find out the rumors himself. It ultimately was just Power manager Brian Esposito deciding that a day off would serve Tucker best.
Getting days off now no longer is a problem for Tucker, who sought a second opinion prior to the surgery. Tucker has not played since July 28 and his timetable ultimately means missing all of next season is a real possibility.
Depth wise, this may allow for the Pirates to take a similar aggressive path with 2015 first-round selection Kevin Newman. Newman was promoted to the Power upon Tucker’s injury with Huntington citing defense as a primary reason in a press conference earlier this month.
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