Brett Jodie On: Ryan Houston

This is the sixth part in a series in which Somerset Patriots pitching coach Brett Jodie takes a look at each pitcher on his staff.  So far, the former big leaguer has broken down Casey Cahill, Jesse Darcy, Ben Grezlovski, Brian Henderson and Carlos Hines.

Now, it’s time to talk about Ryan Houston, who leads the Atlantic League with 15 saves.

JODIE: “Houston’s been great.  I think he’s had one little bump in  the road, and that’s just when he was getting some work in.  He gave up a few runs or whatever, which I hate to see, and it happened kind of fast.  But in save situations, he’s been great.  He’s very confident out there in the ninth inning, and you feel comfortable putting him out there in those situations.  He has a certain swagger about him, I guess you could say.  But it’s a confident thing, it’s not an arrogant type thing, it’s what the team needs to see.  Every time we’re able to get a lead and hand him the ball, we’re feeling really good about it right now.

“He has three quality pitches, and is not scared to throw any of them at any time.  If you compare him to Bret Prinz, they both have very good fastballs, but Prinz came at you with the fastball and every now and then, the slider.  He can throw the split, the slider, the fastball, and he’s got great downward angle on the ball.  That’s something I noticed in his first bullpen in spring training, how he really uses his whole body and gets his arm up on top and creates that angle, and I’m a huge believer in downward angle.  I love the way he throws and the way he competes out there.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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