The Nationals used the 11th overall pick of the 2021 MLB Draft to select high school shortstop Brady House out of Winder-Barrow High School in Georgia. House is the first position player they’ve taken in the first round since drafting Carter Kieboom in 2016.
Listed at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, House entered the season as the consensus top prep player in the country. Though some struggles at the plate in a few showcases hurt his draft stock a bit, he was still widely expected to be taken with one of the first 10 picks. However, the Nationals scooped him up at 11 to give the hitting side of their farm system an immediate boost.
"The Nationals had to be excited that a guy like Brady fell to them at 11," Baseball America's Carlos Collazo said on MLB Network after the pick. "I think you can make a case that he has the best offensive upside in the class with that power potential...He’s never going to be the quickest guy, the twitchiest guy with his footwork, but he’s worked really hard on his defensive game. And I think he’s a guy who also has a really advanced ability to make adjustments at the plate."
House is best known for his raw power, a trait that earned a score of 70 on the 20-80 scale from BA. He did pile up the strikeouts this year but still earns high marks for his pitch recognition and approach at the plate. Though his size suggests he may end up moving to a different position down the line, House surprised scouts with his play at shortstop this year and has a cannon of an arm. He’s about an average runner on the basepaths.
With the pick, Washington used its first-rounder to dip into the high school ranks for the first time since taking Florida prep right-hander Mason Denaburg in 2018. The Nationals don’t have another Day 1 pick, making 2021 only the fourth time since the franchise moved to D.C. in 2005 that it didn’t take a pitcher in the first round.
House is committed to play college baseball at Tennessee, an agreement the Nationals hope to convince him to forego. The slot value assigned to the No. 11 pick is $4,547,500.