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Nationals Shortstop Brady House Makes A Strong First Impression



Brady House’s bat has been as loud as the Nationals expected, yet that’s not the only noise out of the 11th overall pick that has struck farm director De Jon Watson as a positive trait.

“I was impressed with his demeanor, the way he carried himself and the way he communicated with his teammates,” Watson said. “That was all fairly advanced for such a young guy.”

House, an 18-year-old shortstop from high school in Winder, Ga., signed for an above-slot bonus of $5 million in 2021 and then lit up the Florida Complex League. He hit .322/.394/.576 with four home runs in 59 at-bats.

Seen as a possible No. 1 overall pick early last spring, House wasn’t expected to drop to Washington, but the franchise is thrilled that he did. Combined with trade acquisition catcher Keibert Ruiz and 2020 first-rounder Cade Cavalli, House gives the organization a third Top 100 Prospect.

After starring in the FCL, House stayed busy in West Palm Beach, Fla., by participating in instructional league and in a one-week January camp for about 40 prospects.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound House continues to play shortstop. He has a flexible lower half and a strong arm.

“I got drafted as a shortstop, so I’m going to try my best to prove that I can stay at shortstop and still be the power and contact hitter that I am right now,” House said.

Watson praised House’s first-step quickness and his internal clock on making the right plays.

“He has a rhythm and flow to his game,” Watson said. “He’s putting in his work to educate his feet at shortstop, and he’s getting better at it as he has more reps.”

Though House won’t turn 19 until June, it appears he’s on track to start 2022 at Low-A Fredericksburg, where he would be one of the youngest players in the league.

“The way the game is set up now and with the skills he has, he definitely has a chance to break camp with a full-season club,” Watson said.

CAPITAL GAINS

— The organization added another high-end talent on Jan. 15 international signing day in 17-year-old Cuban center fielder Cristhian Vaquero. He signed for a reported $4.925 million and was one of Washington’s 10 new international signees, including seven from the Dominican Republic, two from Cuba and one from Panama.

— Matthew LeCroy and Tripp Keister will return as the managers at Triple-A Rochester and Double-A Harrisburg. Mario Lisson will move from Fredericksburg to High-A Wilmington, while Jake Lowery takes over at Fredericksburg after managing the FCL team last year.

Jack Leiter Courtesyvanderbilt

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