The Houston Astros took high school outfielder Kyle Tucker with the No. 5 overall selection in the 2015 MLB Draft on Monday. The Astros should be as familiar with Tucker as any organization in baseball. Just three years ago, they took Kyle's brother, Preston, in the seventh round of the 2012 draft. So far, Houston's relationship with the Tucker family has been mutually beneficial.
Selected out of the University of Florida, Preston played just over two years in the minors before making his major league debut for the Astros earlier this season. The 24-year-old outfielder chose a good time to hit his first home run, too. With Houston trailing Detroit by a run in the ninth back on May 21, Tucker came on to pinch-hit and hit a game-tying homer in an eventual 6-5 Astros loss.
Overlooked among Houston's deep crop of prospects heading into this season, Preston has made a strong impression for the Astros. Through 25 contests, he's hit .263/.330/.438 with 10 extra-base hits and helped contribute to the club's surprise start in the AL West.
Now Kyle will try to follow his brother's path to Houston, even if the road through the minor leagues is often long and arduous for high school hitters.
Few doubt Kyle's talent and overall hitting ability. The 18-year-old outfielder is more highly regarded than his brother was at the same age and has already shown off tremendous raw power for a teenager. Despite earning less national acclaim than fellow high school hitters Brendan Rodgers and Daz Cameron, Tucker's stock climbed steadily in the weeks leading up to the draft.
His hitting ability and family pedigree are the biggest reasons the Astros felt comfortable taking Kyle with the fifth overall pick. After his selection was announced, MLB Network's Peter Gammons even discussed how scouts have drawn comparisons between Kyle's swing and that of Ted Williams.
And while Kyle is a long way from major league stardom (much less emulating Williams' achievements), the one attribute that stands out about him is that sweet lefty swing, the type of stroke that makes scouts dream.
With Preston already making a name for himself in the majors, Kyle can now look directly up at his brother as he begins his professional career. If all breaks right for the Astros, both brothers will be part of an increasingly bright future in Houston.