While the bevy of trades the New York Mets made at the deadline has drawn the attention from prospect hounds, it’s important not to forget the team had a stellar 2023 draft class. The crop was heavy on shortstops and pitching, with the headliner being prep shortstop Colin Houck, who was regarded as a Top 15 prospect in some outlets before falling to the Mets at No. 32. Houck is the focus of the final regular season edition of Minor League Mondays for 2023.
Houck, who will turn 19 on Saturday, was a highly touted prospect out of Parkview High School in Lilburn, Georgia. The Mets were the beneficiaries of Houck’s fall in the draft due to signability concerns and gave him a $2.75 million bonus to forego a college commitment to Mississippi State. The first stop on Houck’s professional journey came this summer in the Florida Complex League, the formal name for rookie ball, where he hit .241 with four RBIs and a .699 OPS in nine games.
This season wasn’t much to write home about for Houck, who just took the opportunity to get his feet wet as a professional late in the summer. Scouts are very high on Houck, who is rated as the Mets’ seventh-best prospect according to MLB.com, whose strength and smooth swing should lead to plus power at the major league level. Houck’s development should also benefit from his sole focus on baseball after spending some time as a quarterback in high school, which could allow him to work more on making more consistent contact. In terms of defense, Houck has good speed and a bigger body type, which offer third base as a fall back position in the event he can’t handle shortstop at the upper levels.
The good thing for the Mets is that they have a lot of shortstops in their system so they have time to let Houck develop at his own pace. Houck will likely begin next season with in the Complex League again, giving him a chance to potentially earn a spot at Low-A St. Lucie later in the season when Marco Vargas could get bumped to Brooklyn. There is a long development road with Houck but the Mets have every reason to bring him along slowly with the depth at shortstop in their farm system.