Saturday, February 12, 2005

James Houser Report

James Houser, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays
Drafted 38th Overall (2nd Rd), 2003 Draft, HS, Sarasota, FL
Bats L/Throws L
20 YO, 6'5", 185 lbs

Houser is the classic projection pick. He's a skinny kid, who already has a mid 90's fastball, a 12-6 curve and a changeup, all of which are out pitches. He has above average command, especially considering his youth. What he doesn't have is health. He was preemptively shut down by the Rays brass after experiencing elbow pain. He had a heart murmur in high school.

2004 Charleston (Sally): 2.20 ERA, 27 K, 13 BB, 27 H, 1 HR, 33 IP
Career: 3.73 era, 71 K, 26 BB, 70 H, 2 HR, 74 IP

His stuff and his stats are great. I don't see any real warning signs in his line. There's not a lot of certainty at this point in his career, especially with his health question marks. However, he's a long way away from the show, and we have a lot of time to keep him on the wait and see list. If I were the Rays, I'd feel pretty good about getting him in the second round last year.

ETA: 2007
2 1/2 Stars

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