With the exception of Ed Howard, this year’s prep shortstop class is quite weak. However, one prospect that has shot up MLB Draft boards after an impressive early-season performance is shortstop Carson Tucker. Tucker, who attended Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix, Arizona, is listed as the 52nd-best prospect according to MLB.com and is projected by some Mock Drafts to be a late first round pick.
Tucker isn’t exceptional at any one thing on the diamond, but his game is balanced across the board. His assistant coach at Mountain Pointe High School referred to him as a “jack of all trades.” The 18-year-old is listed at 6’2″ 180 lbs. and has all the physical characteristics to play at the major league level.
At the plate, Tucker bats with an open stance from the right side. He features excellent plate discipline and vision, as he struck out just 18 times in 340 recorded plate appearances over his high school career. Scouts are also impressed with his bat speed and ability to drive the ball to all parts of the field. At the Perfect Game National Showcase in 2019, he posted a bat speed of 64.994 mph, exceeding the class average of 63.95 mph. In that same event, his max acceleration at the plate was 32.479 g’s, placing him in the 65.76 percentile.
Over the offseason, Tucker continued to get stronger and work on his swing mechanics. Before the 2020 high school season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tucker was seeing the fruits of his labor. As a result, he showcased an upsurge in bat speed and an increase in power.
In the field, Tucker uses his athleticism, balance, and reliable hands to make difficult plays look easy. His arm strength is considered average, which makes some scouts wonder if he’ll move elsewhere on the diamond. However, he should develop enough arm strength to stick at the shortstop position.
Currently, Tucker’s biggest weakness is his lack of power. As a result, his power swing received a below-average scouting grade of 40/80 on MLB.com. But considering that he is only 18 years old, this shouldn’t be a long-term concern. He should continue to develop more power as he fills out his athletic body and gets into professional training.
Another concern for teams is Tucker’s verbal commitment to the Texas Longhorns. He’s been committed to the Longhorns since 2018, so there’s a chance that he honors that commitment. Tucker’s brother, Cole, was selected with the 24th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, so Tucker and his family are familiar with the Draft process.
A good comparison for Tucker is Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien. Their frames are similar, with Semien being listed at 6’0″ 195 lbs, and Tucker being listed at 6’2″ 180 lbs. Both players have similar swings and do a good job of making contact. Tucker edges Semien in the field, but both players can provide some spectacular defensive plays.
It’s impossible to know what the future holds for Tucker, but he has the potential to be a star for whichever team that selects him in June.
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