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Tanner Houck makes Keith Law’s “just missed” prospect list

Almost counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and prospect lists.

Tanner Houck; Photo Credit: Kelly O’Connor,

We continue to plug away during prospect season as we also continue to beg for some offseason action. Over at ESPN, Keith Law is in the midst of releasing prospect content all week. He began the week by unleashing his top-100 prospects, a list that featured both Michael Chavis and Jason Groome. On Thursday, Law continued to release prospect-related content by revealing a few prospects who just missed his top-100 list. Although the Red Sox don’t currently boast the strongest system in recent memory, they did boast one player on Law’s list in Tanner Houck.

This is an interesting inclusion for a few reasons. For one thing, it reveals who will be in the top three of Boston’s list when Law starts to do his individual team lists. Although Groome and Chavis are a clear number one and number two on every list, the three and four prospects have been different just about every time. It was no guarantee that Houck was going to be the next Red Sox prospect, never mind being declared as someone who just missed the top-100 prospect list.

As for the player himself, it’s clear that Law is likely a bit higher on Boston’s 2017 first round draft pick than many, though he acknowledges the downsides as well. Houck is a bit of a divisive prospect as it’s not at all clear whether or not his future will lie in the bullpen or the rotation. Obviously, the Red Sox hope it’s the latter and if it is Law feels Houck is talented enough that it’d make him an easy top-100 prospect. However, the big righty only has two strong pitches at the moment and his delivery is violent enough that it could prevent him from making long starts. That being said, even if he does end up in the bullpen there is plenty of potential for him to be an impact player in that role. The upcoming season was always going to be a fascinating one for Houck, and it just got a little more intriguing given this generous semi-ranking from Law.