Nearly a year to the day Brady House’s season ended in 2022, the 20-year-old third baseman earned a promotion to High-A Wilmington.
House, who had his 2022 campaign cut short by a back problem, played on average four days a weeks this summer. In his first 12 games at High-A, he hit .354/.392/.625 with three home runs for Wilmington, which plays at a notorious pitcher’s park.
“He hit one to straightaway center (on June 22) for his first home run with them, but he could have so many more most places,” Nationals farm director De Jon Watson said.
“I was there last week, and he hit three that would’ve been out of the park (at Low-A Fredericksburg). One was a double, one was run down (by an outfielder) and the other one was a long single because the baserunner had to hold up.”
Watson praised House’s work in batting practice, particularly his adjustments at hitting toward the middle of the field and at backspinning the ball.
House, who was the 11th selection in the 2021 draft from Winder High School in Georgia, became a sensation during Rookie Ball in his draft season and also in the early part of his full-season at Fredericksburg. House’s first 36 games of last season saw him hit.296/.370/.504 and six home runs.
But that’s when a back injury—and later a bout with Covid struck—and House’s production flat-lined. To start the season in Fredericksburg, he had a similar.297/.369/.500 line with six home runs in 36 games. His walk-rate increased from 5.9% a 10.1%. His strikeout percentage dropped from 29,1% to 21,5%.
“I don’t think he had a bad year last year,” Watson said. “His body just broke down on him.”
The Nationals are managing House’s workload while he moves from shortstop to third base. House, who is 6’4″ and 215 pounds, has a strong arm. He works with the infield coordinator. Cody Ransom On his new role.
“His reads and jumps are so much better,” Watson said. “He’s laying out for balls to his left and showing a lot of range when the shortstop is up the middle on a lefthanded hitter. He’s scooting well to both sides.”
— Middle infielder Jordy J. Barley In order to fill an opening at Triple-A Rochester he was promoted from High-A Wilmington. The 23-year old also scored in his eleventh at-bat for the Red Wings. Barley was back in Wilmington on 28 June. “We’re trying to make adjustments with him offensively,” Watson said. “If we can get the bat going, we’ll really have something.”
— Low-A Fredericksburg will be one of two minor league hosts for MLB Home Run Derby X events in August. Former major leaguer Jonny Gomes is scheduled to participate in both Fredericksburg and in Hartford, Conn. “The Home Run Derby X concept was very well-received during our international events last year, and we expect similar levels of enthusiasm here in the States,” said Casey Brett, MLB’s senior vice president of business development.
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