The Astros' quest to win a second consecutive World Series might have gotten a significant boost on Saturday.
The team called up prize outfield prospect Kyle Tucker, and sent Jake Marisnick down to Triple-A for the second time this season.
Marisnick had become a polarizing figure for the Astros. He had seven home runs and 19 RBIs in 153 at bats, but hit just .190 and struck out an alarming 69 times. His defense is spectacular, but offensively he has been a serious liability.
The big story is Tucker, the Astros' most elite prospect since Alex Bregman. After a slow start at Triple A Fresno, Tucker has managed a .306 average, 14 HRs and 66 RBIs in 80 games. He is considered one of the top 20 prospects in all of baseball by most services.
Tucker will play Saturday against the Chicago White Sox.
Tucker was the fifth overall pick in the 2015 draft out of high school, and has been a high-end prospect ever since. The Astros have struggled to find a place for him on a team that has the second-most wins in all of baseball. But they finally decided to give him a chance at the big-league level.
If Tucker is ready to produce, it could be the equivalent of adding another big time bat via trade, and help boost an offense that has been very good, if a little short of last year's production. It really is a no-risk proposition. If he does not perform, they have not really lost anything. If he does? They have another key weapon for the stretch run and playoffs. And if he lives up to his potential? He could be a key cog in another World Series run.
Fans have been salivating at the idea of seeing Tucker. They will finally get their chance.