Nationals select high school shortstop Brady House in first round of MLB draft
Brady House woke up Sunday morning, went to church, and then went back to his bedroom. And then he waited. And he waited a little longer.
“I felt like I was sitting in my room for two weeks,” House said. “It was a long day just thinking about things.”
House was not stressed or nervous. He had made the decision that whatever was to come Sunday night, when the 2021 MLB Draft took place, was destined to happen. Still, the 18-year-old shortstop from Winder-Barrow High School in Winder, Georgia, waited and wondered, pondering which team might call him by name.
That team ended up being the Nationals, selecting House with the 11th overall pick to break a recent trend for Washington to pick college pitchers in the first round. House is just the fifth-place player picked with the Nationals’ first pick in the draft since Mike Rizzo became general manager in 2009.
“Every little kid dreams of being in this position, and I’m blessed to be able to play to the next level and I’m happy for sure,” House said. “I am definitely excited and happy.”
House said he plans to sign with the Nationals despite committing to Tennessee in 2018. The allotted space value for Washington’s top pick is $ 4,547,500. The slot value indicates the maximum suggested signing bonus for a player picked at that spot, but a team can go above or below that, depending on how they space other signing bonuses throughout the draft.
If he signs, House will join an organization with the lowest-ranked farm system in MLB, as rated by The Athletic. The Nationals have two players inside MLB.comRanking of the 100 best prospects: right-handers Cade Cavalli (77) and Jackson Rutledge (89).
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound House could transition to third base professionally, but he’s convinced he wants to stay at shortstop. He sees himself as somewhat similar to Trevor Story of the Rockies, another great power-oriented shortstop.
“That’s what I work for every day, it’s just to beat everyone short and show that I can stay short because that’s where I feel comfortable,” House said. “That’s where my bread and butter is. I feel like I can fall short, for sure, if I keep working there. “
Still, House said he wants to keep working on his lateral movement at shortstop. House was ranked the No. 8 prospect by MLB.com, and Baseball America analyst Carlos Callazo said on ESPN that “it could be argued that [House] he has the best offensive advantage in the class. “
House had played on the Washington Area Code travel team for two years, so he already knew some of the scouts and was in communication with the team leading up to the draft. He has also been to Nationals Park, visiting his family when he was 12 or 13 years old.
“I know it hasn’t been long, but I’ve been watching Trea Turner since she started,” House said. “Now that I’m in this organization and on Trea, it’s crazy. It’s crazy. “
As a senior at Widner-Barrow High School, House hit .549 with 12 doubles and eight home runs. He drove in 20 runs, stole 21 bases and walked 29 times compared to nine strikeouts. He was chosen as a preseason All-American Second Team by Baseball America and as an All-American First Team by Perfect Game.
House feels Washington will get a powerful player, but that’s not all House wants to offer.
“I would say my strength for sure is being able to hit by power and contact,” House said. “I got a few balls out, but at the same time, I’m always out there getting extra-base hits.”
Before picking House, Rizzo had left with a pitcher in the first round of each of the five previous drafts: Cavalli (2020), Rutledge (2019), Mason Denaburg (2018), Seth Romero (2017) and Dane Dunning. (2016).
The Nationals may have had an interest in a pair of college right-handers, the kind Rizzo usually attacks early in the draft. But the Mets chose Vanderbilt star Kumar Rocker with the 10th pick, and right-hander Sam Bachman of Miami, Ohio, went to the Angels.
That led Washington to House, who said he has already heard people compare him to Ryan Zimmerman, the first pick in Nationals history to become a two-time All-Star and World Series champion. There is no pressure there.
“I have to live up to that, for sure,” House said. “I’m going to go out there and give it my all, and I hope to work hard and do what I can to help the organization.”
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