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Washington Nationals 2021 first-round pick Brady House shut down for season, stats likely show when it happened

Matt Johnson

The Washington Nationals bet on upside in the 2021 MLB Draft when they selected shortstop Brady House. Unfortunately, the first year of crucial development for the teenage shortstop will be one to forget.

House opened the season with the Fredericksburg Nationals, Washington’s A-ball affiliate. The 6-foot-4 infielder proved he was ready to play at a higher level of competition after slashing .322/.394/.576 with four home runs in 16 games as an 18-year-old in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League after he was drafted.

Things looked good out of the gate for House. While he struck out in 29.1% of his plate appearances, he carried a .278/.356/.375 slash line through his first 45 games. For a young slugger just a year removed from playing in high school, Washington saw flashes of the player it snagged 11th overall.

Related: Washington Nationals pitcher Cade Cavalli shut down with shoulder inflammation

However, there were some reasons for concern. House, who received a 60-grade for his raw power from FanGraphs, rarely tapped into that during games. He only hit three home runs and eight doubles across 203 plate appearances, posting an alarmingly-low .097 isolated power.

An injury might have played a role in the decreased power. Fredericksburg first placed him on the IL on May 4. He returned to the lineup on May 13 and held down a regular spot in the batting order until his last game on June 11. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the same player after he came off the IL.

Brady House statsABsBA/OBP/SLGK%HR2BISOwRC+
April 8 – May 189.326/.408/.44925.2%25.124142
May 13 – June 1187.230/.303/.29933%13.06974
Statistics via FanGraphs

House then hit the injured list in late June, with no details on how long he would be sidelined or the specifics of the injury. Finally, the Nationals provided an update on Tuesday detailing exactly what went wrong for House this season.

Related: James Wood off to electric start since landing with Washington Nationals

Latest on Brady House injury, concern for Washington Nationals

According to Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post, House has been dealing with recurring back issues this season. While the Nationals’ front office wouldn’t definitively rule out a return in 2022, Fredericksburg manager told Joey LoMonaco that the plan is to have House ready for spring training in 2023.

It’s a disappointing outcome for both the player and the organization. Washington drafted House ahead of top prospects like starting pitcher Harry Ford, outfielder Sal Frelick, pitcher Michael McGreevy and shortstop Colson Montgomery. All three players have dramatically elevated their stock in 2022, emerging as consensus top=75 prospects.

All of this is worsened by the fact that House now means three of the Washington Nationals’ top prospects (House, Cade Cavalli and Cole Henry) had their 2022 seasons ended early because of injuries. For a franchise that is in the early stages of a rebuild, this is a significant blow and the lost development time may prove costly for all parties long-term.