Age: 22… Height: 6’4″… Weight: 230
Bats: Right… Throws: Right

Profile: One of four players acquired from Houston in July in exchange for Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers, Houser was originally selected by the Astros in the second round of the 2011 draft. He split his first season between Houston’s GCL team and Greeneville of the Appalachian League, then returned to Greeneville in 2012, where he made 11 starts, going 3-4 with a 4.19 ERA.

The Astros continued to take their time with Houser’s development in 2013, pitching him in just 14 games with Tri-City of the New York-Penn League. He moved up to Low-A Quad Cities in 2014, appearing in 25 games and making 17 starts, posting a record of 5-6 with a 4.14 earned run average.

Houser started 2015 at High-A Lancaster of the California League and saw action in 12 games, starting eight. He went 2-2 with a 4.35 ERA before receiving a promotion to Double-A Corpus Christi in late June. Houser made seven appearances for Corpus Christi, starting five games before being traded to Milwaukee at the trade deadline. He was assigned to the Brewers Double-A team in Biloxi and inserted into the starting rotation, making seven starts down the stretch and going 4-1 with a 2.92 ERA.

Strengths: With a big frame and a smooth, repeatable delivery, Houser works off a mid-to-high 90’s fastball with good movement. He was clocked as high as 98 in a couple of late-season starts for Biloxi and worked into at least the sixth inning in five of his seven starts with the Shuckers. He does a good job of keeping the ball down in the zone and also features an above average curveball that he uses as a swing-and-miss pitch, keeping hitters from sitting on the heat.

Weaknesses: The biggest question mark with Houser is his changeup which is still a work in progress. How well he develops his third pitch may ultimately decide if his future lies in the bullpen or the starting rotation. He’s also relatively inexperienced, having crossed the 100 inning threshold for the first time last season before logging a career high 120 innings in 2015.

Future: Houser has experience as both a starter and a reliever but since being acquired in July, the Brewers have used him strictly as a starting pitcher. He may get an outing or two in with Milwaukee before the season ends, but would seem a likely candidate to open 2016 as a key member of the Colorado Springs pitching staff. If the velocity he showed late in the season remains and his changeup continues to show improvement he could find himself fighting for a spot in the Brewers rotation before long.