Houck, 21, was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 25 prospect available in this year's draft. As a junior in 2017, he went 4-7 with a 3.33 ERA (35 ER/94.2 IP), 95 strikeouts, and a .220 opponent batting average over 14 starts for the Tigers. The 6-foot-5, 218-pound right-hander posted a 2.95 ERA (18 ER/55.0 IP) in his final seven regular season starts, tossing at least 7.0 innings in each of those and at least 8.0 innings in five of them. He threw 8.0 shutout innings on May 6 at Vanderbilt and tossed a 9.0-inning complete game on May 13 against South Carolina, striking out 19 batters and walking only two in those two outings combined.
A native of Collinsville, IL, Houck was selected by the Blue Jays in the 12th round of the 2014 June Draft but did not sign. He went on to win 17 games and post a 3.26 ERA (109 ER/300.2 IP) with 292 strikeouts in 44 appearances-all starts-in three seasons with the Tigers. Named a 2017 Preseason All-America First Team honoree by Baseball America, Houck set the Missouri program record for career innings pitched by a three-year player and recorded the 4th-most strikeouts in school history, trailing only the Minnesota Twins' Kyle Gibson (304) for the program's most strikeouts by a three-year player.
Brannen, 18, was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 51 prospect available in the draft. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound left-handed hitter batted .439 (36-for-82) for Westfield as a senior in 2017, totaling 23 doubles, three triples, and five home runs. He also scored 42 runs and stole 22 bases, drawing 26 walks against only 11 strikeouts. A native of Elko, GA, Brannen was named to the 2017 Rawlings-Perfect Game Preseason All-America First Team. In the summer of 2016, he competed in the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field and in the Nike Perfect Game All-American Classic at Petco Park.