The Brewers were able to get four prospects from the Houston Astros in the Carlos Gomez/Mike Fiers trade. One of them is Adrian Houser, a right handed pitcher who was drafted out of high school as a second round pick in 2011.
Unfortunately, so far Houser has not been able to capitalize on the potential and talent that earned him that second round selection. In five minor league seasons so far, Houser has posted a 4.30 ERA, a 1.37 WHIP, an 8.0 K/9 and a 3.4 BB/9. He's advanced to Double-A this season, but has never truly impressed in any of his minor league stops so far.
Houser, 22, has a big frame at 6'2" and 200 pounds, and can touch 94-95 with his fastball but typically sits more in the lower 90s. He wasn't ranked on John Sickels pre-season top-20 prospects for the Astros, but Crawfish Boxes had him rise from 50th in the system before 2015 to 20th in their mid-season update. Here's what TCB had to say there:
Houser pushed himself back on this list after coming in as a tie with Nottingham for 50th pre-season. He pitched extremely well in Lancaster with his best strikeout to walk ratio and strikeout rate. Thats dropped off since heading to CC but that's one of the tougher transitions to make in the minors. The Cal League numbers are enough to bring some back some confidence.
and here's what they said in their article on the trade:
Houser is a former second round pick from 2011 and didn't start showing signs of being a good prospect until this season thanks to a strong BB/SO ratio in Lancaster. Since his promotion to Corpus, he's not been nearly as good as he's struggle with control more and has not been able to strikeout hitters at a similar clip. He has a good frame and continues to have good enough stuff to be a back of the rotation starter. The TCB staff rated him as a C+ prospect and had him at 20th in the system in our mid-season update.
Houser has been working hard to improve his slider, something of which scouts have taken notice. However, even after he was drafted his ceiling wasn't exactly ace-level, with Crawfish Boxes looking at him more as a Bud Norris type.
There's clearly talent in Houser, he just hasn't been able to fully put it together. If anything, his ability to hit the mid-90s along with a decent second pitch could make him a decent bullpen guy or, at the very least, give him a chance to be a decent bullpen guy. As the fourth player in this trade, that's not a bad thing to have. Best-case result: The Brewers have a diamond in the rough and a back-of-the-rotation righty. Worst case, they have someone to help the Colorado Springs bullpen. Houser is worth a flier.
Houser is expected to be eligible for the Rule 5 draft in the upcoming off season. The Brewers are sending him to Double-A Biloxi to begin his career with the team.