The Pryor Times

June 8, 2011

Houser might bypass OU for Astros


— Adrian Houser of Locust Grove was selected by the Houston Astros in Tuesday’s second round of the Major League Baseball draft.

The 6-4, 205-pound righthander was the 69th player taken in the draft that began on Monday.

He became the fourth Oklahoma high school product drafted, joining Dylan Bundy of Owasso (No. 4), Archie Bradley of Broken Arrow (No. 7) and Michael Fulmer of Edmond Deer Creek (No. 44). All four are righthanded pitchers.

Later Tuesday, in the fifth round, another Broken Arrow pitcher, Mason Hope, was taken by the Florida Marlins with the 163rd pick.

Houser, Bradley and Hope have signed scholarship agreements with the University of Oklahoma.

Houser could be an Astro before he is a Sooner.

"I've always been an OU fan and always wanted to play for OU," Houser was quoted Tuesday on the Astros’ Web site.

"But then again, baseball is my life, and I want to go play pro ball, and I want to get in the minor league system so I can learn everything as fast as I can, so I can work my way up to the majors as fast as I can. It's just going to be a process that's going to take some time, probably. I've got a lot of thinking to do."

Houser's father, Mike, who coached his son as a preteen and  in high school, said Adrian will be happy with either decision but thinks he is leaning a certain direction.

"I think if things work out the way we think they're going to, I think he'll probably be an Astro," Mike Houser said. "But I don't know that for sure."

Adrian Houser said he had the impression from a few teams that he could have been selected late in the first round, but the disappointment didn't last long as he was selected early in the second.  

"Back when I was 5, I said I wanted to go pro in baseball, and everybody looked at me like I was stupid," Houser said. "I just stuck with it, and here I am."

Houser pitched the Locust Grove Pirates to the Class 4A state championship last month, the school’s first baseball title.

Houser pitched just once in the state tournament, but it was a spectacular outing. He struck out 16 and shut down No. 5-ranked Cache, 3-2, on two hits.

He finished his senior year with a 10-1 record, an ERA of 0.89 and 125 strikeouts in 62 innings.

Last summer, between his junior and senior years, Houser was an Under Armor All-American. This year, he was rated a four-star (on a five-star scale) prospect by Rivals.com. Baseball America rated Houser as the 135th prospect prior the draft.

Baseball runs in the family. Houser's uncle, James Knott, was selected by the New York Mets in the 11th round in 1992.

If Houser opts for the Astros over the Sooners, he could be back in the state soon. Oklahoma City is the Astros' Triple-A affiliate in the Pacific Coast League.

In the first round, the Astros used their only selection to draft University of Connecticut outfielder George Springer.