Illinois MLB Draft: Day 1 Recap

By Matt Huck
Area Scout

Day one of the 2017 MLB Draft is in the books with Tanner Houck (Collinsville, 2014) being drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 1st round, 24th overall. Last year Illinois had five players taken on day one, all coming from the college ranks.

Tanner Houck, RHP, University of Missouri (Collinsville), 2014
1st round, 24th overall, Boston Red Sox

Early on in the draft process Houck was considered to be a top 15 pick, but an up and down junior year at Missouri saw his stock fall a little this spring. Houck posted a 4-7 record in 14 starts for the Tigers, in 94.2 innings he struck out 95 and held opponents to a .220 batting average.

Report from HS: 2/2/14 - Houck’s performance at the Super 60 solidified his status as one of the premier right-handed prospects in the Midwest. At 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, the Missouri recruit has an athletic, projectable frame, one that can easily handle more weight in the future. Houck’s fastball was a clear standout among a list of top-level arms. Aside from sitting 92-93 mph with his fastball, it was his late, hard arm-side life that separated Houck from his peers. Providing further separation from the pack was his three-pitch arsenal, all of which had sharp, late action. His changeup, in the 83-85 mph range, showed the makings of being a big swing-and-miss pitch, as he throws it with fastball arm action and has late sink down in the zone. Houck also threw his 74-77 mph slider with similar conviction. Operating from a high three-quarter slot, his arm is loose and works quickly. With a few minor mechanical adjustments, and as he naturally fills into his frame, Houck should continue to see velocity jumps, just as he experienced from his junior year to now.




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