Red Sox Draft Tanner Houck, RHP, Missouri at #24 Overall

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Dope
Dope
Sep 27, 2004
10,466
We can move this to the minor league forum in a couple of weeks.



Height: 6'5"
Weight: 218
Throws: Right
DOB: June 29, 1996 (20 years, 11 mos)

Houck just finished his Junior season a Missouri and is a member of the Team USA Collegiate team. He struck out 95 batters in 94 2/3 innings and posted a 3.33 ERA. Over his 3 seasons, he posted a 288/60 k/bb rate. His fastball is his greatest asset, he has hit 98 with it but regularly sits at 91-93 and has good sinking movement. His secondary pitchers are a slider and change up and they are average at best. His delivery and dip in velocity this year scared some teams off. Some scouts project him as a reliever but the team has indicated they are going to groom him as a starter.

 

koufax37

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
2,465
I see a lot more Matt Latos in the delivery. With that arm angle and action, he will need to figure out his secondary stuff to lefties in order to not end up a reliever, but at not yet 21, I think he has a good window to develop.
 

mt8thsw9th

anti-SoSHal
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
17,120
Brooklyn
I was going to point out Houck's lousy K rate compared to that group, but coincidentally Scherzer's was equally bad his junior year (though much better in his freshman and sophmore years). How many with strikeout rates that low make it as MLB starters? Only one college starter drafted in 2017 in the vicinity of Houck (picks 25-31) had a K/9 under 10, and that was Anthony Kay (#31), who had TJS after the draft.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
10,975
Miami (oh, Miami!)
We have no Houck thread in the Minor League Forum. Perhaps this says something about 2017-2020. Strange times.

Anyway - note for posterity. Houck was at the alternate site in 2020 and started his first ML game on Sept. 15 against the Marlins, in the Covid shortened season. He did very well, pitching a shutout over 5 innings, while striking out 7, walking 3 and allowing 2 hits. This year we had Sale (TJ) and Erod (Covid-19) down, and relied a surprisingly passible Martin Perez, along with a sometimes injured Eovaldi, and the likes of Colten Flotsam and Jetsam Kickham.

There are some tweeted video clips in the two page gamethread: https://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/9-15-the-debut-of-turner-hooch.31469/page-2#post-4044098

The MLB article: Houck is pro-adoption, and Max Scherzer, a fellow University of Missouri alumni, tweeted out a vid clip in support of his start: https://www.mlb.com/news/tanner-houck-wins-mlb-debut

So:

1) Whaddawegothere?

2) How long do we got it? What are the implications in calling him up in this crazy shortened season?
 

SouthernBoSox

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 23, 2005
11,087
We have no Houck thread in the Minor League Forum. Perhaps this says something about 2017-2020. Strange times.

Anyway - note for posterity. Houck was at the alternate site in 2020 and started his first ML game on Sept. 15 against the Marlins, in the Covid shortened season. He did very well, pitching a shutout over 5 innings, while striking out 7, walking 3 and allowing 2 hits. This year we had Sale (TJ) and Erod (Covid-19) down, and relied a surprisingly passible Martin Perez, along with a sometimes injured Eovaldi, and the likes of Colten Flotsam and Jetsam Kickham.

There are some tweeted video clips in the two page gamethread: https://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/9-15-the-debut-of-turner-hooch.31469/page-2#post-4044098

The MLB article: Houck is pro-adoption, and Max Scherzer, a fellow University of Missouri alumni, tweeted out a vid clip in support of his start: https://www.mlb.com/news/tanner-houck-wins-mlb-debut

So:

1) Whaddawegothere?

2) How long do we got it? What are the implications in calling him up in this crazy shortened season?
The Four Seam, Two Seam, Slider package is all plus stuff. Very impressive. He really has to develop a serviceable third pitch. Its doesn't need to be amazing, but if the splitter can be developed into something average, I think you've got a very intriguing starting pitcher.
 

Detts

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SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
4,755
Greenville, SC
Sox Prospects rules out the change and curve due to arm angle. He’s been.messing around with a split this year which would help with lefties. Cutter could be an option down the road.

Really good shot at sticking as a starter.
 

johnlos

lurker
Aug 22, 2014
11
From pitcherlist:
"I had no expectations for Tanner Houck as he made his MLB debut yesterday against the Marlins, but he turned many heads after earning a win across 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW. That’s luscious across the board and now we’re wondering if Tanner is the ticket to your championship for his final two starts of the year.

It’s a 3.5 pitch mix (the .5 is what I call pitchers with both a sinker and four-seamer) as Houck tries to earn weak balls in play with a sinker that rides plenty into right-handers, then using four-seamers up in the zone. I’m fine that approach, though I do feel his four-seamer at 92-95 is a bit more effective than his sinker that can get away from him a good amount. The belle of the ball is his slider, though, as its movement is what you dream of from breaking balls. Just 5 whiffs in this one, but 40% CSW and it’s the pitch that creates a good amount of intrigue moving forward. Sadly his changeup had little shine and I question if it’s a proper third option moving forward.

The arsenal depicts a volatile pitcher with strikeout upside and a low floor, amplified by a history of poor walk rates. With the Yankees heating up and next on the docket followed by the Braves after, I’d remove Houck from the menu of streamers – why did I even waste your time? – but I’d imagine Houck will fight for a rotation spot in 2021. If a steady third option appears, there could be some regular consideration."
 

JimD

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2001
7,479
Sales out until the middle of 2021.
EdRo may never pitch again depending on his heart condition.
Eovaldi is a pile of suck.

So I guess Houck is our new #1.
I could care less what number slot he is assigned. 2021 is still going to be more of a rebuilding year, so if Houck proves himself worthy of a starting role that will be good enough for me - hopefully he will be pushed down the rotation later in the year by a healthy Sale and (fingers and toes crossed) Rodriguez.
 

Sprowl

mikey lowell of the sandbox
Dope
Jun 27, 2006
32,439
Haiku
Houck's movement, and to some extent his delivery, remind me of Justin Masterson: the same mix of 4-seamer, sinker and slider; the same 10 o'clock release; and almost the same horizontal movement. Houck is only 6'5", where Masterson was 6'8", so the movement isn't quite as electric, but Houck seems to have better command of his pitches.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
9,444
I recently saw a good write-up on Mata, and we're seeing that Houck has pretty nice potential. Add in Seabold and Jacob Wallace, along with some progress by Groome, and suddenly it looks like there might be help coming up through the system. Which would be....phenomenal.