A Stockbridge, Georgia native, Colin Houck attended high school at Parkview High School, a school with numerous baseball alumni, many with Mets connections- Jeff Francoeur, Jeff Keppinger, Matt Olsen, and Clint Sammons. In his first season at Parkview, Houck appeared in 13 games, his season abbreviated due to the COVID-19 pandemic and hit .200/.346/.250 with one extra base hit, a double, 4 stolen bases in as many attempts, and 5 walks to 7 strikeouts. He appeared in 39 games for the Panthers in his sophomore year and hit .400/.458/.672 with 8 doubles, 4 triples, 6 home runs, 10 stolen bases in 10 attempts, and 15 walks to 29 strikeouts. In 2022, his junior year, Houck appeared in 38 games and hit .412/.531/.912 with 10 doubles, 1 triple, 15 home runs, 9 stolen bases in 10 attempts, and 23 walks to 23 strikeouts. This past spring, he played in 40 games and hit .487/.589/.857 with 14 doubles, 3 triples, 8 homers, 16 stolen bases in 17 attempts, and 27 walks to 27 strikeouts, winning the Georgia 2023 Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year Award. For his career with the Panthers, he appeared in 130 games in total, and hit .421/.517/.780 with 33 doubles, 8 triples, 29 home runs, 39 stolen bases in 41 attempts, and 70 walks to 80 strikeouts.
In addition to playing baseball, Houck played varsity football at Parkview for four years as well, appearing in 41 games for the Panthers as a quarterback. Averaging roughly 2,000 throwing yards and 20 touchdowns in his non-COVID shortened sophomore, junior, and senior seasons, set the school’s all-time records in passing yards and touchdowns. He was considered a three-star quarterback and received legitimate offers from Power 5 football programs such as Florida State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Houston, Miami, Vanderbilt, Arkansas and Indiana, among others. Coming into the 2023 season, Houck had not decided on whether or not he wanted to pursue baseball, pursue football, or pursue both, but a strong showing in the summer tournaments between his junior and season seasons convinced him to focus on baseball.
Houck is a big kid, standing 6’2”, 190-pounds with room to grow and fill in. At the plate, the right-hander stands slightly open, holding his hands high and wrapping his bat head behind his head. He utilizes slight leg kick and stays balanced through his load and stride, swinging with an easy, loose swing that is quick through the zone. He hits the ball hard to all fields, producing exit velocities exceeding 90 MPH in summer tournaments between his junior and senior seasons, putting him in the top 95% percentile among his peers. More of his power is gap oriented than home run oriented at this point in time, showing the ability to really turn on pitches to his pull side, but as he becomes a more confident hitter, he should be able to tap into his above-average raw power during more in-game situations to all fields. There is a little swing and miss in his game, but it is not particularly excessive and is likely to be able to be coached out of him as he is exposed to elite velocity and advanced breaking balls on a more consistent basis.
An average-to-above-average runner, running the 60-yard dash in just a few shades under 7 seconds, Houck has been an exceptional base runner over the course of his prep career and should continue to be a threat on the basepaths as a professional, stealing his fair share of bases, advancing on base hits, and legging singles into doubles.
Defensively, Houck should develop into a solid shortstop. He has quick-twitch athleticism, shows good reflexes, has excellent lateral range, and a strong, accurate arm. If his body fills out more than expected and he loses the mobility needed to play an adequate shortstop, Houck would still be an excellent third baseman.
Houck has a commitment to Mississippi State University.