Comprised of 40 rounds, the MLB Draft is the longest one in all of sports. Every team hopes at least one of their picks can make a difference within the organization; this year the Boston Red Sox drafted Tanner Houck with the 24th pick in the first round.
Houck is a right-handed pitcher from the University of Missouri who stands in at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds. The righty finished his junior season at 4-7 with a 3.33 ERA.
The Illinois native, who was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2014 MLB Draft but choose not to sign, has won many awards in his three years with the Tigers and was the No. 8 College Prospect by Baseball America.
A look at Houck’s accolades:
- Preseason All-American (Collegiate Baseball, PerfectGame.com)
- ABCA All-Region (2016)
- #8 College Prospect (Baseball America)
- Unanimous Freshman All-American (2015)
- All-SEC Freshman Team (2015)
- USA Baseball International Performance of the Year (2015)
- Golden Spikes Award Watch List (2015, 16)
- #1 2017 Draft Prospect (Perfect Game)
- #1 2017 Draft Prospect from USA Baseball Collegiate National Team (Baseball America)
- Three-Time SEC Pitcher of the Week
- Two-time USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Participant
- Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week (March 26, 2016)
In his three years at Missouri, he ranks fourth in all time strikeouts and he is just the second pitcher to throw 300-plus innings at the school. He also pitched through 6.0 innings in 37 of his 44 games as a Tiger.
Houck was not expected to slide to pick number 24, so the Red Sox got away with one in my opinion. He was no secret as he has pitched well in the SEC and for Team USA.
The righty throws one of the best fastballs in the draft with a two-seamer that sits at 92-93, topping out at 97. He also has a slider that has improved a lot since his freshmen year of college and a changeup that is still developing.
The Red Sox plan to develop Houck as a starter, but his stuff may be used better as a reliever. Houck has mid-rotation potential if all goes well.