Red Sox starting pitching candidates for potential six-man rotation
Red Sox starter Tanner Houck
Tanner Houck, the former first-round pick in the 2017 draft, should absolutely be in the rotation after his late-season resurgence starting his first three games in the bigs. Houck was one of the few bright spots in an ugly season as he was practically unhittable, going 3-0 with a superb 0.53 ERA. Slotting him into the rotation will make us find out if this one just a one-time thing or if he does the pure talent to repeat his success.
Houck had a jaw-dropping 11.1 K/9, though he did register 9 walks in 17 innings. It is a small sample size to get over-excited about but he was a first-round pick for a reason and his solid numbers in the minors suggest that he can be a fine young pitcher. It should be interesting to see what he can do with a larger sample size, as it has been quite some time since Boston last had a prospect within their farm system to become an effective starting pitcher.
Houck has almost an identical delivery to Sale, throwing from three quarters, and he has had early success with it in the MLB. Sale has already told the media that he wants to pick the brain of the youngster. There is no better mentor to have than Chris Sale to help him improve his game and take it to the next level. Can he be the future ace? That could be a stretch considering it is just 17 career innings pitched but the sky is the limit for the 24-year-old and we should hope we see a lot of him this upcoming year.