It’s something he couldn’t have imagined when he was playing in the KBO a year ago. Now, he dreams of reaching the Major League Baseball postseason.
MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, wrote about the “hidden key contributors to each team’s postseason run” on Tuesday. Seven players made the list, including a beast familiar to KBO fans.
It’s outfielder Mike Tuckman (33-Chicago Cubs), who played for the Hanwha Eagles last year. Tuckman was unable to stay with Hanwha after last season and had to leave South Korea. Upon returning to the United States, he signed a minor league contract with the Cubs to try his hand at the big leagues.
Tuckman spent his time in the minors waiting for a major league call-up, which he received in May and began to revitalize the Cubs’ lineup. On the year, he’s batting .251 (74-for-295) with seven home runs, 45 RBIs, six doubles, and a .727 OPS. As the team’s leadoff hitter, he has a .354 on-base percentage, making him the sparkplug of the offense.
Tuckman has been particularly effective in the second half of the season, when postseason competition heats up. After batting .239 (33-for-138) with three home runs, 21 RBIs, and a .689 OPS in the first half, he’s been even better since the All-Star break, hitting .261 (41-for-157) with four home runs, 24 RBIs, and a .762 OPS. Add to that the fact that he’s been making highlight reels on multiple occasions with his offensive prowess that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet.
According to MLB.com, “There are times when players who aren’t expected to play a major role, or who fly under the radar on Opening Day, suddenly emerge and become key postseason contributors for their teams. As we enter the final month of the season, here are seven players who have made meaningful contributions to postseason contention.”
“After spending the 2022 season in South Korea, Tuckman signed a minor league deal with the Cubs in January to return to the big leagues. He’s had a breakout second half, batting leadoff against right-handed starting pitching and helping the Cubs return to the postseason.”온라인바카
Tuckman’s revitalized Cubs are 76-67 on the season and are currently in the second wild-card spot in the National League. They hold a one-game lead over the third wild-card spot, the Arizona Diamondbacks, to keep their postseason hopes alive.
Tuckman was joined on the list by outfielder Jason Heyward (34-LA Dodgers), catcher Mitch Garber (32-Texas Rangers), infielder Mike Ford (31-Seattle Mariners), outfielder Ryan O’Hearn (30-Baltimore Orioles), relief pitcher Robert Stephenson (30-Tampa Bay Rays), and infielder David Schneider (24-Toronto Blue Jays).