BOCA RATON – The Houston Astros selected FAU pitcher Alex House in the 24th round of Major League Baseball’s 2017 Draft.
Though House expected to go much higher in the draft, he still intends to sign with the Astros.
“I’m not coming back to FAU,” House said. “I get to start my career and make it to the big leagues with the Astros.”
Only a junior, House still has one year of college eligibility remaining.
House went 6-4 with a 4.71 ERA this past season – his first as a starter for the Owls. He struck out 68 and walked 25 in 93 2/3 innings.
He worked out for the Astros at their new spring training complex in West Palm Beach prior to the draft.
House had been told by some teams that he could be selected as early as the fifth round. When round No. 20 passed on Wednesday, he wondered whether he’d be drafted at all.
“I was getting a little scared,” House said.
Late in the season FAU coach John McCormack moved House to the bullpen, allowing a differnet pitcher normally considered a reliever to start games that fell on House’s scheduled date, then following that pitcher with House. In both instances House thrived.
He allowed only two runs, one earned, in seven innings of relief work in an 8-4 victory over FIU that eliminated the Golden Panthers from the Conference USA tournament.
House also allowed one earned run in five innings the weekend prior against Old Dominion – a game in which he picked up the lone save of his career.
Late in the season House demonstrated a fastball that touched 94 mph along with a mid-80s slider.
Three FAU signees were also selected on Wednesday. Coral Springs pitcher Max Lazar went to Milwaukee in the 11th round. Toronto selected Tampa-Steinbrenner OF/1B in the 14th round. First baseman/outfielder Ryan Karstetter from State College of Florida was chosen by Detroit. All three could either sign with the teams that drafted them or elect to play for FAU.
Outfielder David Miranda, who clubbed a team-high 12 homers, is likely to be the next FAU player selected, left-handed pitcher Jake Miednik, second baseman Stephen Kerr, pitcher Mark Nowatnick and catcher Kevin Abraham all hoped to be drafted, but House was the only current FAU player selected in the 2017 MLB Draft.
Miranda, Miednik, Nowatnick and Abraham all have one more season of eligibility remaining, so they are expected to return to FAU for their senior seasons.
Kerr can attempt to sign with a major league team as a free agent.