The Road to The Show™: Nationals’ House
Each week, MiLB.com profiles an elite prospect by chronicling the steps he's taken toward achieving his Major League dream. Here's a look at fifth-ranked Nationals prospect Brady House. For more stories about players on The Road to The Show, click here. After an unusual start, Brady House’s professional career seems
Each week, MiLB.com profiles an elite prospect by chronicling the steps he's taken toward achieving his Major League dream. Here's a look at fifth-ranked Nationals prospect Brady House. For more stories about players on The Road to The Show, click here.
After an unusual start, Brady House’s professional career seems to be gaining momentum.
MLB Pipeline’s No. 94 overall prospect enters the week batting .286/.387/.494 with three homers and 14 RBIs in his second tour with Single-A Fredericksburg. He’s played in 21 games so far as the Nationals appear to be cautious with House, who had his season cut short in June last year due to a back injury. As he’s easing back into action, he’s also shifting from shortstop to the hot corner.
At 6-foot-4, 215-pounds, he’s physically larger than the typical shortstop, but felt he had the ability to stick at the position. Coming into the season, however, the organization thought it best to shift him to third.
“With Brady's body type and his skillset, I think he transfers over to third base very comfortably and very smoothly,” Washington general manager Mike Rizzo told MLB.com during camp. “He was a big shortstop over there, kind of looked like a third baseman playing shortstop, so that was our thought process since we drafted him. And I talked to a lot of good players that have gone through that transformation … and became Gold Glove kind of players.”
Although it’s a lot to take in, the Nationals hope that the shift to third will come naturally and help ease him back from the injury. But for a 19-year-old like House and a franchise in the early stages of a rebuild, there’s plenty of time to figure things out.
House was part of a very impressive group of shortstops in a 2021 Draft class that included Jordan Lawlar and Marcelo Mayer and at one point was thought of as a potential No. 1 overall pick.
As an amateur, House displayed great raw power to all fields and a very strong arm – he also pitched in high school and reached 96 mph on the mound. He was impressive on the showcase circuit and showed an ability to handle velocity and decent breaking pitches. He got a little too homer happy during his final season of high school and struggled at the plate, but he eventually showed an ability to make adjustments on that front as the Draft approached.
The Nationals landed the Winder, Georgia, native with the No. 11 pick and lured him away from his University of Tennessee commitment with an above-slot bonus of $5 million.
“I'm very grateful that I ended up [with Washington],” House told MiLB.com last April. “Great, great program. Great facilities, great coaches. All welcoming players. Previously, before the Draft, I had not talked to the Nationals really.”
He jumped right into professional action following the Draft and reported to the Rookie-level Florida Complex League. In 16 games, House batted .322/.394/.576 with four homers, three doubles, 12 RBIs and 14 runs scored.
House worked on being more selective at the plate and drilled down on his shortstop footwork in his first Spring Training, then reported to Fredericksburg for his first full season. His FCL success carried over in the early going.
Over his first 16 games, House collected 27 hits and batted .386 with a .992 OPS, homering twice and driving in 23 runs. He hit the doldrums over the next five weeks but seemed to get it going again in June. But it turns out he’d been trying to play through lingering back pain, and he played his last game of the season on June 11.
A look at Brady House's visit to Nationals Park. pic.twitter.com/mPALOZyHSD— Jessica Camerato (@JessicaCamerato) July 31, 2021
Throughout his first two seasons of pro ball, House played exclusively at shortstop. He committed 17 errors in 190 total chances, including 13 errors in 36 games in 2022.
House entered the 2023 season with something to prove, and he’s handled the bat well in limited opportunities so far. He’s recently hit a stretch in which he went hitless in four consecutive games, but already seems to be rebounding. Defensively, he’s played all 21 games at third base, committing three errors.
Since the unofficial beginning of the Nationals’ rebuild at the 2021 Trade Deadline, most of the prospects acquired in trades have already contributed in the Majors or higher levels of the Minors. But House is among a contingent of younger players in Washington’s system, like No. 8 overall prospect James Wood and No. 65 Elijah Green, whose development could be a major factor in the franchise’s next chapter.
Gerard Gilberto is a reporter for MiLB.com.