The Washington Nationals have not chosen this high in a draft since 2011 when they chose Anthony Rendon at № 6 overall. Today, general manager Mike Rizzo has the 11th pick overall and a chance to get a top prospect immediately.
If you think the 11th pick overall doesn’t get you good players, a player named Max Scherzer was an 11th pick in the 1st round. So was Andrew McCutchen and George Springer. Sure, there have been plenty of busts also, and Rizzo is the guy who has to make sure this player who they pick today is developed into a star.
The Nats selected Cade Cavalli at № 22 overall last year, and he has already risen to a top-40 prospect or better on all prospect ratings and № 26 on Baseball Prospectus. In today’s All-Star Future’s Game, Cavalli dazzled in the 5th inning with several sizzling fastballs at 98-100 mph. He had two K’s in his inning of work.
With the players the team is adding in international signings, and adding Brady House today, the Nats farm system is about to rise from their 29th rating.
Most thought the Nats would choose a pitcher like Ty Madden but when House fell in the draft, Rizzo was waiting and snagged the shortstop from Winder-Barrow High School in Winder, Georgia, with the № 11 overall pick. Just 6 months ago he was № 1 on some boards, and slipped due to contact rates in showcases. But with the best power of any high school player at shortstop and best arm for an infielder, he brings two top tools for the Nats.
If the Nats move House from shortstop to third base, they can develop their left-side of the infield with the defensive wizard Armando Cruz who many think is a top defensive shortstop. Both House and Cruz must work on their hit tools to make contact and hit for average.
“I think I was 12 or 13, it was whenever my travel ball team was traveling up north,” House said. “We went to a Nationals game. I was with my mom, my brother, me and my grandma and I just remember the atmosphere being electric and that’s what I’m looking forward to going into this is just the atmosphere and the fans and playing with hopefully a bunch of those top elite prospects.”
The 18-year-old said the Nats are “where I’m meant to be” after getting to know several of the team’s scouts who followed him through his high school years, Team USA and showcases.
He said that he’s been called a “Ryan Zimmerman-type” player which you might remember Zim was a shortstop at that age and moved to third base in college at Virginia. He should find that comparison as a compliment especially since House has been drafted by the Nats.
“People are already kind of describing me like a Ryan Zimmerman type,” said House, “So I got to live up to that, for sure.”
House also talked about Trea Turner, the team’s star shortstop, who the teenager has followed since that trip to Washington, D.C. and Nats Park.
“It’s crazy,” House said. “I know it hasn’t been a long time but I’ve been watching Trea Turner since he started and just now that I’m in this organization and Trea — it’s just crazy. It’s crazy.”
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound high-schooler was ranked the No. 8 prospect by MLB.com, and Baseball America analyst Carlos Callazo said on ESPN that “you could make a case that [House] has the best offensive upside in the class.” Here are more highlights from other draft evaluators on House.
House, 18, hit .549 (50-for-91) with 12 doubles, eight home runs, 20 RBI, 21 stolen bases, 29 walks, nine strikeouts and 52 runs scored during his senior season at Widner-Barrow High School in Widner, GA. He posted a .675 on-base percentage and a .967 slugging percentage en route to being named First Team All-America by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. House was ranked by Perfect Game as the top high school prospect in the 2021 First-Year Player Draft.
2021 MLB Draft first round order:
1. Pittsburgh Pirates
2. Texas Rangers
3. Detroit Tigers
4. Boston Red Sox
5. Baltimore Orioles
6. Arizona Diamondbacks
7. Kansas City Royals
8. Colorado Rockies
9. Los Angeles Angels
10. New York Mets
11. Washington Nationals
12. Seattle Mariners
13. Philadelphia Phillies
14. San Francisco Giants
15. Milwaukee Brewers
16. Miami Marlins
17. Cincinnati Reds
18. St. Louis Cardinals
19. Toronto Blue Jays
20. New York Yankees
21. Chicago Cubs
22. Chicago White Sox
23. Cleveland Indians
24. Atlanta Braves
25. Oakland Athletics
26. Minnesota Twins
27. San Diego Padres
28. Tampa Bay Rays
29. Los Angeles Dodgers
30. Cincinnati Reds (Compensation Pick)
31. Miami Marlins (Competitive Balance A)
32. Detroit Tigers (Competitive Balance A)
33. Milwaukee Brewers (Competitive Balance A)
34. Tampa Bay Rays (Competitive Balance A)
35. Cincinnati Reds (Competitive Balance A)
36. Minnesota Twins (Competitive Balance A)
With the 11th pick in the 2021 @MLB Draft, the Washington Nationals select…
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 12, 2021
The Nats assigned slot value for their first round pick is $4,547,500. That slot value is not a guarantee that has to be paid to House, rather it is part of the overall pool of money the Nats can spend in the draft and should be plenty of money to make sure House does not go to college where he committed to Tennessee, and he said if there aren’t any snags in negotiations he will sign with the Nats as expected.
The Nats have a total pool value of $8,770,000 to spend this year on signing their draft picks.