House settling into new home in Harrisburg

BOWIE, Md. – The Nationals have added another top prospect to Double-A Harrisburg’s roster. If you squint really hard, you can see the potential lineup of the next competitive team in Washington.

Just over a month after he reached High-A Wilmington for the first time, Brady House was promoted to Harrisburg earlier this week.

“It was an awesome feeling getting the call up,” House said ahead of his second Double-A game against the Bowie Baysox (Orioles) on Wednesday. “I'm sure everyone is happy and excited whenever they get the news that they're moving up somewhere. Just getting here and getting used to things and figuring things out and how they work around here, it's been nice so far. It's been a lot of fun so far.”

The Nats’ No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline and No. 3 per Baseball America, House needed only 16 games with Wilmington before earning his next promotion. Over his two weeks in High-A ball, he slashed .317/.368/.540 with a .908 OPS, five doubles, three home runs, 13 RBIs and three stolen bases.

He wasn’t even there long enough to realize how quickly he moved on.

“I (didn’t) know, really,” he said with a laugh when informed he only played 16 games with the Blue Rocks. “I guess you lose track of how many games you're playing because you never really count how many games you're playing. So whenever I got the call up, I didn't even really know till now that I played 16 games.”

House was limited to just 45 games with Single-A Fredericksburg last year due to a back injury. But now that he’s fully healthy, he’s taking care of his body off the field so he can stay on this meteoric trajectory toward Washington on it.

“I think just staying on top of my routine and doing what has to be done off the field as well,” he said. “Not just going out there and playing. It takes time to do things right that I need to get done before the game. So just making sure I'm staying on top of things like that so I'm ready to go on the field.”

Before moving to Double-A, House joined the Nats’ No. 1 prospect, James Wood, in Seattle for the All-Star Futures Game, featuring the top prospects in the sport. He went 1-for-1 with a run scored and a nice catch against the railing in foul territory during the game.

“It was great getting to play with James,” said House. “Our lockers were beside each other. Just getting to hang out a little bit because we hadn't seen each other all season and then getting to catch up. And catching up with other guys as well has been great now that I'm here getting to play with him again.”

“It was a lot of fun for sure,” Wood said. “Being around a lot of players of that caliber. And obviously being able to see Brady again, play with him again, it was a great experience.”

Now the two are back on the same team, this time with the Senators and fellow top Nats prospects Robert Hassell III (No. 5 per MLB Pipeline) and Trey Lipscomb (No. 18).

“It was great playing with this group of guys,” House said. “I know most of them and have played spring training with them. But a lot of them I haven't really got to play affiliate ball with, so it's nice getting to play with them during the season and being with them.”

“Adding him to the lineup is definitely huge. Another threat to our lineup,” Wood said. “Obviously, he's got a whole lot of power. So looking forward to seeing him launching some stuff over walls, too. So that'll be fun for sure.”

There’s still an adjustment period for House to make at Double-A. It’s a significant step up from either level of Single-A ball. But once he gets going, the Senators lineup figures to strike fear in opposing pitchers.

“I just haven't been here that long enough to figure it out yet,” House said of his adjustments to his new level. “But I'm sure as the days go on, day by day, I'm going to be learning new things and making adjustments and stuff like that. I just haven't quite been here long enough to figure it out yet.”

“He can bring a whole lot.” Hassell said. “And now with the addition of him, you feel like we definitely need to make sure nobody's trying to be the hero every day. We got so many guys, anybody can produce. And if we all produce every day, I mean that's gonna be tough on the other team. So he's gonna bring a lot.

“Obviously, it takes a little bit of time at the Double-A level. He might come and hit four home runs today, I hope he does. But Double-A pitching, this league is tough and it's gonna be good for him, especially at his age, to come up here and start raking. He's had a great year so far, same with James Wood, and I'm glad that they're both here with me for sure.”

Drafted as a shortstop out of Winder-Barrow High School (Ga.) with the 11th overall pick in 2021, House has made the full-time switch to third base this year. His 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame projects better at the hot corner.

“I love it at third base,” he said. “I'm getting more comfortable each and every day. It's feeling more natural each and every day. I think just getting my reps in and learning something every day, whatever it is mentally or physically.”

Some of those reps at third will now be taken away from Lipscomb, who was promoted up to Harrisburg the same time House moved up to Wilmington. But the two worked together in spring training and are excited to share an infield again.

“It's awesome,” House said. “We took reps and we spent all of spring training in the infield together, so it's great that we're both back together. I'm happy that we're getting to play together, not just in spring training.”

Lipscomb has been crushing the ball during his time in Harrisburg (.310/.339/.466 over his first 30 games), so his bat can’t be taken out of the lineup. With the 20-year-old House now playing at third, Lipscomb shifted over to second base Wednesday night.

“It's something special,” Lipscomb said. “That kid, he brings a lot to the table. And him being as young as he is, I still take some things from him and learn from him. So I think that's a plus. And ever since spring training, we kind of just had that bond where he wants me to get better and I want him to get better.”

A third-round pick in 2022 out of the University of Tennessee, Lipscomb remembers when House, a Volunteers commit before he was drafted, visited Knoxville and showed off for the whole team.

“He came to a camp in Knoxville when he was committed and he was hitting balls farther than anybody on the team,” Lipscomb said. “So anytime you get to go out there and just watch him play, he's special. He's a strong kid from Georgia. They say they feed them different down there. He's strong.”

House, Wood, Hassell and Lipscomb now combine to make one of the largest groups of highly touted Nats prospects playing together at one level. They’re hoping one day it’ll be at the major leagues.

“I think just sticking to who we are and doing our thing,” House said. “Just playing for the team and it'll all come together for all of us, so very excited.”

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