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Like many draft prospects this time of year, Mason House is used to seeing scouts. Unlike many prospects, however, House admits he notices them.
“I most definitely know they’re there,” the Whitehouse (Texas) High star said. “They’re standing right next to our dugout.”
The number of scouts watching House is probably noticeable to him because of how much it has increased this spring.
“Our first game, there were five scouts, maybe,” he said. “We come out to (next week) and scouts came rolling in, maybe 25. Over the course of one week . . . that game was pretty nerve-wracking. I stepped up for (batting practice) and there were 20 dudes lined up with video cameras.”
By now, House shouldn’t be surprised by the attention. But the 18-year-old was a sleeper this spring, the rare prep player who eschewed the showcase circuit.
Although Whitehouse has produced major leaguers Josh Tomlin and Travis Chick—as well as Patrick Mahomes, the 10th overall pick in the NFL draft in April—its east Texas location and lack of local competition made House an unknown commodity for the 2017 draft class.
“I think that could be part of it,” House said. “There’s not many prospects to bring out scouts here.”
That hasn’t stopped House’s draft stock from skyrocketing, with buzz that he could be chosen as early as the second round. One evaluator said House has plus raw power in his projectable, 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame, and he’s been compared with Yankees prospect Billy McKinney, a first-round pick of the Athletics in 2013 after starring at a Texas high school.
Not only has House drawn more scrutiny from scouts, but college recruiters came around as well, causing House to de-commit from Louisiana State-Eunice JC and sign with Oklahoma State.
House said his increased attention is less about his game improving and more about expanded observation.
“I think it just took time for me to get noticed; I always had the capability,” he said. “I wasn’t into the (showcase) circuit. But it’s played out well for me. I am happy where I am now.”
House says he envisions himself as a player who can hit for average and power and believes he can stay in center field because he reads the ball well and gets good jumps, though one evaluator believes a corner spot would fit him better.
Even with all the extra scrutiny, House remains humble and said his teammates have been supportive, not envious.
“They’ve been my friends for years, and it makes them all happy to see me doing well,” he said.
“I know this isn’t the Mason House show. This is the Whitehouse Wildcats show.”