Tanner Houck Salem Red Sox  |  Pitcher


Age: 22
Born: June 29, 1996
Collinsville, IL
Height: 6-5
Weight: 220
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 1st round, 2017
How Acquired: Draft
College: Missouri
High School: Collinsville (IL)
ETA: Late 2020

Photo © Kelly O'Connor

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Physical Description: Tall, athletic pitcher’s frame, listed at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds. He has some projection left and should add strength as he matures.

Mechanics: Throws from a low three-quarters arm slot, starting on the first base side of the rubber. Unique delivery with significant effort, but it works for him. Very quick arm. Long arm action including elbow climb in the back and high leg kick. Comes across body and lands on the third base side before falling back towards first. Mechanics are very tough on right-handed hitters. Club has reportedly worked with Houck on staying more upright, helping to direct side-to-side action previously prevalent in his motion more towards home plate. Adjustments have also incidentally moved arm-angle up to more of a true three-quarters. SoxProspects Scouting Staff will report back on mechanical adjustments after Spring Training 2018.

Fastball: 92-94 mph. Tops out at 97 mph. In first pro season, primarily threw two-seam fastball regarded as among best in 2017 draft. Showed heavy sink down in the zone at lower velocities. Four-seam flattened out when elevated and was usually thrown in the mid-90s. Struggled to command four-seam and didn’t miss as many bats as you’d expect given the velocity. At the team’s request, worked with a new four-seam fastball during ’17-’18 offseason and that reportedly will now be his primary pitch. Has told reporters it showed high spin rates and more life, topping out at 98 mph. Team reportedly wants him to mix that in up in the zone to complement the two-seam. Team may also have him add a cutter eventually.

Slider: 82-86 mph. 10-to-4 shape with long, sweepy break. Shape will vary, flashing depth and bite at times and coming in more vertical and loopier at other times. Has confidence in the pitch. Has shown a willingness to throw it to both right- and left-handed hitters. Potential plus offering. Especially tough on right-handed hitters as it runs down and away from their barrels.

Changeup: 87-89 mph. Work in progress, but already showed improvement and more feel as the 2017 season progressed. At its best, is thrown with the same arm speed as his fastball and has late fade falling down and out of the zone, away from left-handed hitters. Looks like a fastball he takes something off of at times. Potential average offering.

Curveball: Reportedly added a spike curveball during the '17/'18 offseason. SoxProspects.com Scouting Staff has not seen the pitch in person and will report on it after Spring Training 2018.

Career Notes: Pitched for U.S. collegiate national team for two summers at Missouri. Red Sox development plan after drafting Houck reportedly has included an overhaul of his arsenal and mechanics. Drafted throwing a two-seam/slider/changeup, has added new four-seam and curve already and may add a cutter.
Summation: Based on outings scouted in 2017, projects as a late-inning reliever, with a chance to develop into a mid-rotation starter if he could develop another secondary pitch to complement his slider and refine his fastball command. Has the size and demeanor you look for in a pitcher. Fastball and slider project as potential plus pitches. Changeup lags behind, but has shown the potential to miss bats against left-handed hitters, which will be vital given his low arm slot. This projection must be hedged, however, given that the organization is reportedly making significant changes to Houck's mechanics and pitch arsenal; could look like a completely different pitcher from the one drafted within a year or two.

  Pitching Stats                                          
  year team lg level org age w l % era g gs sv ip h r er hr bb so whip k/bb k/9
  2015 Missouri NCAA Coll --- 19 8 5 0.615 3.49 15 15 0 100.2 88 40 39 8 12 91 0.99 7.58 8.14
  2016 Missouri NCAA Coll --- 20 5 6 0.455 2.99 15 15 0 105.1 82 46 35 6 27 106 1.03 3.93 9.06
  2017 Missouri NCAA Coll --- 21 4 7 0.364 3.33 14 14 0 94.2 78 45 35 5 24 95 1.08 3.96 9.03
  2017 Lowell NYPL A- Bos 21 0 3 0.000 3.63 10 10 0 22.1 21 14 9 0 8 25 1.30 3.13 10.07
  2018 Salem Car A+ Bos 22     stats                            
  Additional Player Info  
  Pronunciation: Howck
First Pro Contract:
June 21, 2017 by Todd Gold (BOS)
Signing Bonus: $2,614,500
MiLB Debut: July 17, 2017 (Lowell)
MLFA Eligible: November 2023
Rule 5 Draft Eligible: December 2020
Added to 40-man: -
MLB Debut:
MLB Service Time (through 2017):
Options Remaining
: 3 (0 used)
Contract (2018): MiLB Contract
Trade Restrictions
: -
2017 Perfect Game Pre-Season All-American
SoxProspects.com Awards
2018 SoxProspects.com Pre-Season All-Star






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