Toronto adds high school arm in 12th round

Toronto adds high school arm in 12th round

The Blue Jays took another big high school arm with their 12th-round choice in the First-Year Player Draft on Saturday afternoon, selecting senior Tanner Houck.

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound right-hander from Collinsville, Ill., can touch 93 mph with his fastball, which features a heavy sink and should gain velocity as he gets stronger. He also throws a split-changeup and slider.

Houck is committed to Missouri for next season. Some look at his frame and high-effort delivery and see Max Scherzer, while others point to his long arm action and the high elbow in his mechanics and see Justin Masterson, according to his scouting report, which had him ranked No. 132 on this year's Top 200 list.

That the was selected 354th overall indicates the Blue Jays may have made off with a later-round steal with this pick.

Houck -- a multi-sport athlete who also plays basketball -- is set to play in the PNC Bank High School Baseball Showcase on Thursday for the region's top seniors at Busch Stadium.

Houck told the Belleville, Ill., News-Democrat that he had hoped to be chosen in the first 10 rounds this weekend.

"I think the Draft possibilities are high, but it's a little bit different than signing with a college," Houck said prior to the Draft. "You don't get to pick what team and what round, or what number you get picked. I've trained all offseason. I've showed them the best I've got every game this season."

Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.