House living up to hitting hype

With the Nationals off on Monday as they return home from a three-city West Coast road trip, let’s wrap up our three-piece minor league miniseries from last week’s conversation with Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser on the “MASN All Access Podcast.”

We already discussed Luis García’s hot start at Triple-A Rochester and Cade Cavalli’s potential to impact the major league level later this season.

Further down the farm system, Brady House is putting together an impressive start to his first full pro season with low Single-A Fredericksburg. On a tear over the first 21 games of the season, the No. 2 prospect in the Nats system is hitting .326 with five doubles, two homers, 24 RBIs and 10 walks.

We knew he had the potential for a lot of power, as he was touted as the best hitting high school prospect in the 2021 draft. But last year’s first-round pick has flashed the ability to hit for average and get on base as well.

“He's been incredibly impressive,” Glaser said of House. “I highlighted him in spring training as a prospect scouts were very, very high on. There was never any doubt about his power. He had some of the best power in his draft class. There were just some questions about how much contact he would make. And that's the case for a lot of high school draftees. It's a huge jump going from high school to professional baseball. But he's answered them pretty loudly. And now you really don't find any doubts about his bat whatsoever.” 

The only doubts that surround House is his ability to stick at shortstop for the long-term in his professional career. Since the day he was drafted out of Winder-Barrow High School (GA) as a shortstop, the 18-year-old has insisted he wants to play short in the pros. But many scouts, including some in the Nationals organization, believe his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame would fit better at third base.

“In terms of where he's gonna play, it probably is more third baseman than shortstop,” said Glaser. “But again, with how much offense he projects to produce, it's not going to matter, he has a chance to be a standout. In terms of timeline, this is still a very, very, very young kid who's in Low-A. This is still probably a two to three year development timeline, assuming no injuries or anything goes wrong. So it's not like he'll be up next year by any means. But he's one of the more promising homegrown position player prospects the Nationals have had some time.”

There is some unfortunate news on the injury front: House landed on Fredericksburg’s seven-day injured list on Wednesday with an undisclosed injury. He missed the FredNats’ entire series against the Lynchburg Hillcats (Guardians) with no further updates on his status from the team over the weekend. The FredNats won three out of five games against the Hillcats.

The FredNats begin a six-game series against the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (White Sox) at Virginia Credit Union Stadium on Tuesday, probably the earliest we could get an update on House’s status.

Whenever House does return to action, he’ll be worth the trip to go watch him hit. And you can see for yourself if his big body fits well enough to stay at shortstop.

“A lot of it's gonna depend on how he develops physically,” said Glaser. “Again, this is a very young kid with a lot of physical development left. We have seen some players who you project to get too big to play shortstop and move to third base actually keep kind of their sleek frame. Fernando Tatis Jr. is a great example. In Low-A, a lot of people thought he'd have to move to third base. But he was able to keep his frame and stay it short. So it really is just gonna depend on how Brady House's physical development goes. The overall consensus is he probably will end up at third base. But we'll see. It's really just going to be up to him and how he develops his body.”

The Fredericksburg Nationals are 17-9 and in first place of the Carolina League East division. Although it may not be long before House gets moved up to high Single-A Wilmington.

You can listen to the full conversation with Glaser on the “MASN All Access Podcast” and check out this week’s episode coming Tuesday live on the MASN Nationals Facebook page and YouTube channel, as well as your favorite podcast platforms afterwards.

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