MSU Media Day: Zac Houston

Junior right-hander Zac Houston hopes to be part of Mississippi State’s starting pitching rotation this spring. Houston has increased his velocity to the high-90’s under new pitching coach Wes Johnson and talks about his transformation on the mound.

On what Wes Johnson is adding to his game…

“He knows how to get the most out of our arms. Everything that he has helped me do, it has been amazing. I have seen him do that with a lot of guys. Everyone has made jumps in velocity.”

On his role in 2016…

“I see myself as a starter, but nothing is set in stone yet. If I wind up being a reliever or closer, I am willing to do whatever it takes to help out this team.”

 On playing with a chip on his shoulder in 2016…

“We do not want anything like last season to happen again. All of the returning guys know what it is like to have the feeling we had last season, and we are going to do everything in our power to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Our offseason prep has been intense and we have worked really hard. We are ready to show what we have done.”

On Wes Johnson…

“He knows so much about pitchers and how the body works. He has helped me so much, even in the short time he has been here. I just look forward to learning more and more from him.” 

On moving on from last season…

“I hate that the guys whose last years were last year. I hate that they had to leave this university with that. I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that the people who are in their last year now, that this year is nothing like that.”

More on Wes Johnson…

“He is big on velocity, and that is awesome for me because I love to throw hard. That is what I pride myself on. The fact that he is so focused on that is great for me. That has helped me to get better. He is a power guy and we have been working at that. He has helped other guys too. I have seen people make jumps. He is really good at what he does.”

On Johnson’s impact on the overall program…

“I can see the result when we are playing. There are guys making throws I have never seen them make before. He is not just a pitching coach. He is helping everyone with their arms and our program.”

On the talented freshmen on campus…

“The new guys are great. This is one of the most talented groups of guys that I have ever seen come through. They are going to be really good and I am excited to see how they perform on a big stage.” 

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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