The Red Sox have signed first-round selection Tanner Houck, per a club announcement. He’ll earn a $2,614,500 bonus, per MLB.com’s Jim Callis (via Twitter), the exact slot value of the 24th overall pick.
Houck is a 20-year-old righty out of the University of Missouri. Entering the draft, he drew varying assessments from pundits, ranking as high as 20th (on the MLB.com board) and as low as 40th (from Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs).
The debate is a familiar one: will Houck stick in the rotation or end up as a reliever? In this case, the question stems from his unorthodox arm angle and lack of polish on his offspeed offerings. But he’s working from a big fastball (in terms of both velocity and movement), with some promise to his oft-utilized slider and still-developing change.
Boston seems to believe that Houck has a legitimate chance of reaching his lofty ceiling. Even if he ends up working in relief, though, the 20-year-old could perhaps turn into a compelling late-inning arm in relatively short order.