Hey there, Sports fans! If you’re on the lookout for a new favorite player to root for, let me introduce you to Tanner Houck. Against all odds, Houck has quickly become one of my favorite baseball players. As a relatively unknown prospect, he burst onto the scene for the Boston Red Sox this season, dominating hitters with a wicked sinker and impressive command. His work ethic and humble demeanor only add to his appeal. Trust me, give Houck a chance and you’ll quickly become a fan too.
Tanner Houck: Against All Odds
Tanner Houck is not a household name in the world of baseball. He was not a top draft pick, he did not have much hype around him when he was called up to play in the major leagues, and he did not have years of experience playing at the highest level. Despite all of this, Houck has managed to become one of the most exciting and impressive young players in the game today.
The Early Years
Houck was born on June 29, 1996, in Collinsville, Illinois. He grew up playing baseball like many other kids his age, but it wasn’t until high school that he started to make waves. Houck attended Collinsville High School where he became one of the best pitchers in the state. He had a high school career ERA of 1.60 and was named a Rawlings-Perfect Game All-American in both his junior and senior years.
With his impressive high school career behind him, Houck decided to play college baseball at the University of Missouri. Despite being a highly rated prospect, Houck struggled during his freshman year. He finished the season with a 3-5 record and an ERA of 5.43. However, in his sophomore year, Houck started to find his groove. He had a 3.33 ERA and 5 complete games in 14 starts. It was his junior year, though, when Houck truly established himself as one of the best pitchers in college baseball. He had a 1.99 ERA in 14 starts and struck out 95 batters in 94.2 innings pitched. His performance earned him All-SEC First Team honors and made him the first pitcher in Missouri history to be named Conference Pitcher of the Year.
The Minor Leagues
After his stellar college career, Houck was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the first round (24th overall) of the 2017 MLB Draft. He quickly found success in the minor leagues. In his first season, Houck had a 1.47 ERA in 23 innings pitched for the Short-Season A Lowell Spinners. He followed that up in 2018 with a 3.56 ERA in 23 starts for the High-A Salem Red Sox. In 2019, Houck had a 4.01 ERA in 15 starts for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs.
In 2020, Houck was called up to the major leagues for the first time. He made his debut on September 15, starting against the Miami Marlins. Houck was dominant in his first game, throwing five shutout innings and striking out seven batters. In his next start, Houck was even better. He tossed six scoreless innings against the New York Yankees and struck out four batters. Houck finished the 2020 season with a 0.53 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 17 innings pitched.
As of the beginning of the 2021 season, Houck has only played in nine major league games, but his numbers are already impressive. He has a 1.98 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 50 innings pitched. Houck’s success can be attributed to his excellent command of his pitches. He has a mid-90s fastball, a slider, and a changeup, all of which he can throw for strikes.
The future looks bright for Houck. He has shown that he can be dominant in the major leagues and has the potential to be a top-level starter for the Red Sox for years to come. Houck will likely start the season in the minor leagues, but it is only a matter of time before he is called up to Boston. He will be part of a young and exciting pitching staff that includes Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, and Garrett Richards.
Houck is not just a talented baseball player, he is also a great person off the field. He is known for his hard work and dedication to the game. He is also an advocate for mental health, having overcome anxiety and depression himself. In an interview with The Athletic, Houck said, “I’m very open about mental health. I think it’s important for people to realize that athletes and people, in general, go through those things.”
Tanner Houck is not your typical baseball player. He was not drafted high, he did not have much hype, and he did not have years of experience in the major leagues. But despite the odds, Houck has become one of the most exciting young players in the game today. He has a bright future ahead of him and is sure to become a fan favorite for the Boston Red Sox.