Hometown: Tampa, Florida
Born: July 6, 1990
Tucker was recently honored as the SEC Player of the Week after an astonishing display that began with a three-run go-ahead homer against rival Florida State and ended with a solo shot in the final game of a sweep of the Vanderbilt Commodores.
The honor is a fitting tribute, as Tucker has quietly transformed from a freshman sensation into a team leader and a bona-fide prospect in the 2012 draft.
For the week he was honored, Tucker hit .400 with three homers, two triples and nine RBI. On the season, he’s now hitting .326, good for second on the squad behind Mike Zunino. His eight long balls and 23 RBI also rank behind Zunino. Tucker has yet to make an error in the field, assuaging concerns about his ability to survive in the outfield, a position he migrated to after time spent all over the diamond.
Tucker isn’t exactly fleet-of-foot, but he also leading the Gators with two triples, and he’s added two stolen bases.
There’s no denying the power in Tucker’s bat. The senior hit 15 home runs last season, 11 the year before and 15 as a freshman. Not too bad for a player who couldn’t even impress the FSU coaching staff in a private tryout that he drove more than 100 miles for as a high-school senior. Now the Noles are kicking themselves for not seeing what the Gators staff did: a truly phenomenal college player.
Tucker was drafted last year in the 16th round by the Rockies, but chose to head back to UF, in part to help them achieve what they fell two games short of last season (a CWS title), but also to improve his draft stock.
As of right now, it’s looking likely.