Tanner Houck 2017 MLB Draft Profile

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MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 13: Gloves litter the field prior to a game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the New York Mets on May 13, 2017 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wi. (Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Tanner Houck 2017 MLB Draft Profile

Overview

Tanner Houck is a right-handed starting pitcher who has played three years of SEC baseball with the Missouri Tigers. Houck was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays out of high school in the 2014 MLB Draft. He declined the opportunity and instead went to the University of Missouri where he raised his draft value from a 12th-round pick to a potential first-round pick.

Strengths

Houck, a Collinsville, Illinois native, has great control of his pitches. Over the course of 301 career college innings, he has only walked 63 batters for a BB/9 rate of only 1.88. Control for a pitcher is important at any level, and Houck already possesses a good amount of it at the college level.

He is also able to keep the ball in the yard as he has only given up 19 home runs in his 301 innings pitched. That is good for a 0.57 HR/9 rate.

Houck has good size for a pitcher. At six foot, five inches and 215 pounds, he is in good shape overall to challenge hitters every five days. So far he has been durable in his pitching career and has avoided many of the health problems pitchers commonly go through in present-day baseball.

Weaknesses

The MLB is going through a period where striking out the opposition is a common occurrence for pitchers. Houck is able to strike out almost a batter per inning as evident in his 292 strikeouts in 301 innings. That is good for a pitcher his age, but not his strongest attribute as that type of strikeout rate is becoming more and more common.

His dip in velocity is the biggest concern surrounding Houck. During his sophomore campaign, his fastball sat in the mid-90’s. Most recently it has hovered in the low-90’s. A pitcher his age wants to gain or maintain velocity and losing it is not a great sign.

MLB Comparison

Gerrit Cole

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John Jackson is a New York native and a rising junior at Manhattan College. He writes for their school newspaper, The Quadrangle. He is also a New York Mets writer for Mets Merized Online. John has been apart of Last Word On Sports since March 2016. He is currently an editor for the MLB department and is the New York Jets Team Manager for the NFL department. You can follow John on Twitter @John97Jackson.

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