With the 2017 Draft fast approaching (June 12-14 on MLB Network and MLB.com), we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class.Name: Tanner HouckPosition: RHPSchool: MissouriRank on Draft Top 200: 20DOB: 6/29/1996Bats: R Throws: RHeight: 6'5"Weight: 218 lbs.:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::Tools
(Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale)Fastball: 65Slider: 50Changeup: 50Control: 55Overall: 55Top 20 Draft Prospects profilesStats
Games: 14Record: 4-7IP: 94
With the 2017 Draft fast approaching (June 12-14 on MLB Network and MLB.com), we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class.
Name: Tanner Houck
Rank on Draft Top 200: 20
Bats: R Throws: R
Weight: 218 lbs.
:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::
(Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale)
Top 20 Draft Prospects profiles
IP: 94 2/3
As an Illinois high schooler, Houck drew comparisons to the likes of Max Scherzer, Justin Masterson and Nick Burdi. His desire to attend Missouri dropped him to the Blue Jays in the 12th round of the 2014 Draft, and like Scherzer, he still blossomed into a first-round prospect in college with the Tigers. Houck should be the fourth player in program history to go that high, following Scherzer, Aaron Crow and Kyle Gibson.
Houck has one of the best fastballs in this year's Draft class. It's not just because of his velocity, though that's impressive, with a normal range of 92-96 mph with a peak of 98. Houck's heater also has a lot of sinking action, generating a lot of swings and misses as well as weak contact.
Houck's secondary pitches aren't as impressive. His low-80s slider lacks consistency and can get sweepy, and he needs to use his changeup more often in order to refine it. Scouts don't love Houck's low-three-quarters arm slot and the high back elbow in his delivery, but he makes his mechanics work and throws a lot of strikes.
MLB comp: Jered Weaver
Fun fact: Playing for the USA Collegiate National Team, Houck was part of a combined no-hitter against the Cuban National Team on July 1, 2015. Houck started and worked four perfect innings. A.J. Puk (drafted sixth overall in '16) and Ryan Hendrix (fifth-round pick in '16) also pitched.
He said it: "I believe that if you think you're at the top of the mountain, you're going to fail."
They said it: "Tanner has been all business right now. He wants to be the first pick in the Draft. But we've talked about how you can't control whether you're the first pick or the 10th pick, it's the organizations who decide what they need. I think he's able to put all of that past him and he's able to go out and do his job every single day and that's what we expect from Tanner."
-- Missouri head coach Steve Bieser
**Austin Laymance** is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles