From a run-scoring machine, to a run-scoring powerhouse, to a home run-stealing ‘thief’. It’s almost like the KBO gave up on him.
Last year for the Hanwha Eagles, foreign-born outfielder Mike Tuckman, 33, played in all 144 games and put up respectable numbers: .289 batting average, .366 on-base percentage, .430 slugging percentage, and .796 OPS with 12 home runs, 43 RBI, and 19 stolen bases.안전놀이터
However, Hanwha declined to re-sign Tuckman. Apparently, he wasn’t as destructive as a foreign hitter, and more importantly, he wasn’t a solution with runners in scoring position, batting .216 with a .364 on-base percentage, .294 slugging percentage, and .658 OPS with one home run and 28 RBI.
Eventually, Tuckman left South Korea and joined the Chicago Cubs to try again in the majors. The move paid off. An injury to Cody Bellinger earned him a major league call-up, and he’s been a “game-changer” as he’s been able to showcase his power as a leadoff hitter while also excelling in scoring situations, which was a weakness in Korea.
This year, Tuckman is batting .261 with a .360 on-base percentage, .394 slugging percentage, and .755 OPS with five home runs and 33 RBIs. He is especially strong with runners in scoring position, batting .327 with a .422 on-base percentage, .481 slugging percentage, and .903 OPS with one home run and 28 RBIs. With two outs and runners in scoring position, he’s equally strong with a .292 batting average, .433 on-base percentage, .375 slugging percentage, and .808 OPS with 10 RBI.
Moreover, Tuckman emerged as a “hero” in the Cubs’ game against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on Sept. 29, when he made a spectacular jumping catch to prevent a game-tying home run.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, with the Cubs leading 3-2, Turkman chased down Alex Burleson’s home run, and made a picturesque leap in front of the fence to snag the ball as it sailed over the fence. If Tuckman hadn’t caught the ball, it would have been a walk-off home run and the Cubs would have lost the game.
The Cubs have been on an incredible surge, winning nine of their last 10 games to improve to 52-51, and are poised to shake up the National League Central. With a 4.5-game lead over the first-place Milwaukee Brewers and a four-game lead over the second-place Cincinnati Reds, it will be interesting to see if the Cubs can shake up the standings with the “breakout” Tuckman.