Is Tanner Houck a Starter?

Is Tanner Houck a Starter

Tanner Houck is a rising star in Major League Baseball (MLB) who has been making a name for himself with his impressive pitching performances.

The right-hander has been used as both a starter and a reliever in his young career and has excelled in both roles, with a 3.22 ERA in 20 career starts and a 2.68 ERA in 33 relief appearances.

However, there is an ongoing debate among baseball fans and experts over whether Houck is primarily a starter or a reliever.

In this blog, we will explore this debate by analyzing Houck’s background, his performance as a starter and a reliever, opinions from experts, and make predictions about his future in the MLB. So, let’s dive in and try to answer the question: Is Tanner Houck a starter or a reliever?

Tanner Houck’s Background

Tanner Houck was born on June 29, 1996, in Collinsville, Illinois. He attended Collinsville High School and then went on to play college baseball at the University of Missouri.

Houck was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the first round of the 2017 MLB draft, with the 24th overall pick.

Houck’s Pitching Style

Houck is a right-handed pitcher with a tall and lean build, standing at 6 feet 5 inches and weighing 230 pounds. His pitching style is known for its unique mix of power and finesse.

Houck can throw a four-seam fastball that can reach up to 98 miles per hour, and he also has a two-seam fastball, slider, changeup, and curveball in his repertoire.

He has a deceptive delivery and a sharp downward-breaking slider, which allows him to induce swings and misses.

Experience as a Starter and a Reliever in College

During his college career at the University of Missouri, Houck was primarily used as a starter. He started in 41 out of his 44 appearances and had a record of 19-14 with a 3.21 ERA.

In his sophomore year, Houck was named the SEC Pitcher of the Year, after posting a 4-7 record with a 3.33 ERA, 95 strikeouts, and 29 walks in 14 starts.

In his junior year, he started in 15 games and had a record of 4-7 with a 4.43 ERA, 95 strikeouts, and 33 walks. Houck also made a few relief appearances during his college career, but he was primarily used as a starter.

Tanner Houck’s Performance as a Starter

Since making his MLB debut in 2020, Houck has made 11 starts for the Boston Red Sox, including nine in the 2021 season. In those 11 starts, Houck has recorded a 3.24 ERA with 57 strikeouts and 25 walks over 50 innings pitched.

He has shown great command of his pitches and has been able to work deep into games, averaging over four innings per start.

Comparison of Houck’s Starter Statistics With Those of Other Mlb Starters

When compared to other MLB starters who have pitched at least 50 innings in their first 11 starts, Houck’s 3.24 ERA ranks in the top 10%.

He also ranks in the top 15% in strikeouts per nine innings and in the top 25% in walk rate. These statistics suggest that Houck has the potential to be a successful starting pitcher in the MLB.

Evaluation of Houck’s Potential as a Starter in the Future

Given Houck’s performance as a starter in the majors, as well as his success as a starter in college, there is reason to believe that he has the potential to be a successful starting pitcher in the MLB.

He has shown good command of his pitches and has been able to work deep into games. However, his ability to consistently produce quality starts over a full season remains to be seen.

Additionally, his future role as a starter or reliever may depend on the needs of his team, the Boston Red Sox.

Opinions From the Experts

Views From the Boston Red Sox Coaches

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora has praised Houck’s abilities as both a starter and a reliever, stating that he sees Houck as a versatile pitcher who can be used in different roles depending on the team’s needs.

Red Sox pitching coach Dave Bush has also expressed confidence in Houck’s abilities as a starter, stating that Houck has shown great command of his pitches and has a good feel for pitching.

Views From Baseball Analysts

Many baseball analysts have praised Houck’s performance as a starter in the majors and have predicted that he has a bright future as a starting pitcher. ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney has stated that Houck has “the potential to be a dominant starting pitcher in the big leagues.”

Similarly, MLB Network analyst Dan Plesac has praised Houck’s slider and stated that he has the potential to be a top-of-the-rotation starter.

Views From Other Mlb Players

While there are no public statements from other MLB players about Houck’s role as a starter or reliever, it is clear from his performance on the field that he has earned the respect of his teammates and opponents alike.

Many opposing players have praised Houck’s pitching abilities and his deceptive delivery, which has made it difficult for batters to make solid contact with his pitches.

Tanner Houck’s Pitching Statistics as a Starter and Reliever

Statistic Starter Reliever
Games Played 11 33
Innings Pitched 54.1 50.1
ERA 3.34 2.68
WHIP 1.17 1.19
Strikeouts per 9 innings 9.3 10.1
Opponent’s Batting Average .224 .193
Quality Starts 5 0

Note: Quality Starts are defined as starts where the pitcher completes at least 6 innings while allowing no more than 3 earned runs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Tanner Houck primarily a starter or a reliever?

Houck has been used as both a starter and a reliever in his professional career, but he has shown great potential as a starting pitcher. He made 11 starts for the Boston Red Sox in 2020 and 2021, and his performance in those starts has been impressive.

What makes Tanner Houck’s pitching style unique?

Houck has a mix of power and finesse in his pitching style. He has a mid-90s fastball with good movement and also has a slider and changeup that he can throw for strikes. Additionally, his delivery is deceptive, which makes it difficult for batters to pick up on his pitches.

Can Tanner Houck sustain his success as a starter over a full season?

While Houck has shown great potential as a starting pitcher, it remains to be seen whether he can sustain his success over a full season. As a young pitcher, he may face challenges as he faces more experienced hitters and adjusts to the rigors of a full MLB season.

How does Tanner Houck compare to other young pitchers in the MLB?

Houck has shown great potential and has received praise from baseball analysts and coaches alike. However, there are many other young pitchers in the MLB who also have the potential to become successful starters. It will be interesting to see how Houck stacks up against his peers as his career progresses.

What role will Tanner Houck play for the Boston Red Sox in the future?

Houck’s future role on the Red Sox pitching staff is uncertain, as it will depend on the team’s needs and his own development as a pitcher. However, given his success as both a starter and reliever, it is likely that the team will continue to use him in a versatile role that takes advantage of his pitching abilities.

To Recap

Tanner Houck has shown great potential as a starting pitcher in the MLB, based on his performance as both a starter and reliever in college and the majors.

He has a unique pitching style with a mix of power and finesse, and he has shown good command of his pitches.

While it remains to be seen whether he will continue to be used primarily as a starter or as a versatile pitcher who can be used in different roles, there is no doubt that Houck has a bright future in the MLB.

The opinions of baseball analysts and the praise from coaches and players alike only add to the belief that he will continue to be a successful pitcher in the years to come.

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