Van Houten played for the UA from 2002-05, leading the Pac-10 in batting with a .403 average during the 2003 season and earning all-conference honors as both a sophomore and senior. The outfielder finished his career with 213 RBI, second only to Ron Hassey for most in program history, while also placing in the top 10 at Arizona in career runs, hits, multi-hit games, extra-base hits, triples, total bases and walks.
A graduate of Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Van Houten was a 13th-round pick of the then-Florida Marlins in the 2005 MLB Draft. He batted .263 with 21 home runs and 83 RBI in two seasons at the Class A level before getting released, later spending time in the independent Golden Baseball League in 2008.
Van Houten was living in the Phoenix area at the time of his death. No cause was announced.