Baseball America partner Student Sports, which operates the Area Code Games presented by New Balance, has made a series of Day in the Life videos featuring players from the high school Class of 2014 who participated in last summer’s Area Code Games. We’re happy to present them to you here. You can visit the Student Sports website for more on the 2014 Area Code Games.
The high-energy, scrappy and competitive Cole Tucker emerged as a galvanizing leader on and off the field for USA Baseball’s 18-and-under national team that won its second consecutive World Cup for the first time in 24 years. Tucker provided reliable defense at shortstop and sparked the rally to score the first run in the 3-2 championship game victory over Japan.
“His passion for the game comes out and is infectious for his teammates,” 18U manager Rob Cooper said. “People look at how much he loves to play, how hard he plays and that hair, but the guy can really play. He was a leader because of his pure love and enjoyment for the game.”
Tucker’s intelligence and instincts coupled with a well-rounded skillset make him a prospect for the 2014 draft.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Tucker is a long, lean and lanky player with an athletic build, long extremities and room to get stronger. Tucker’s first-step quickness gives him good lateral range to go with soft hands and good actions. Throughout the summer, Tucker showed the versatility to play multiple infield positions with an arm that is at least average and can throw from different angles. He is an average runner with long strides who is a tick better underway.
The switch-hitting Tucker has a good approach with bat-to-ball skills and a line-drive oriented stroke with the ability to use all fields. His power is presently to the gaps and is likely to increase given his large frame, which will accommodate additional strength gains.
At the Area Code Games, Tucker had two singles and stole a pair of bases.
An Arizona commit, Tucker is one of the youngest players in the class and will not turn 18 until nearly a month after the draft. Tucker has baseball bloodlines as his father, John Tucker, played professionally and is a member of the Florida High School Baseball Hall of Fame. His high school, Mountain Pointe in Phoenix, is a perennial power that has produced five draft picks since 2008, including C.J. and Kevin Cron.
Tucker will return to the USA Baseball complex in late March for the National High School Invitational, where his Mountain Pointe Pride will compete in the competitive 16-team field.