Dodger Prospect DJ Houlton

28th in a series as we count down among the top Dodger prospects.

Position- Starting Pitcher
Residence-Yorba Linda, Cal.
DOB- Aug. 12, 1979
Height- 6-4
04 Club- Round Rock (AA)

A recent addition, Houlton was selected from the Astros in the Rule 5 draft after he posted a 12-5, 2.94 record at Round Rock in the Texas League, striking out 159 batters in the same number of innings.

Houston had originally selected him in the 11th round of the 2001 amateur draft from the University of the Pacific.

Despite his size, he's not a power pitcher although his fast ball is respectable at 88-91 mph. His out pitch is a hammer curve which he sets up well and he also throws a deceptive change, a two-seamer which runs well, a slider and, upon occasion, a splitter. In every case, he tries to work inside and out, hitting corners, and changing speeds constantly.

He's certain to get a long look in spring traning since he has to be offered back to the Astros if he doesn't make the team. He's something of a candudate for a fifth or spot starter's role or may well be utilized in the bullpen -- that is, if he's impressive enough to merit making the jump from AA.