As reported yesterday, the Nationals signed first-round pick Brady House. His deal is worth $5MM, per Jon Heyman of the MLB Network (via Twitter). The slot value for the 11th overall selection is $4.55MM.
House’s signing represents a bit of good news for Nats fans amid their sell-off yesterday. The high school shortstop was long considered one of the top prospects in the draft, but he ended up slipping to the Nats at number 11, largely because of signing concerns. Many of the small market teams picking ahead of the Nationals went with draft picks they could sign to below-slot deals.
The Athletic’s Keith Law ranked House as the 11th best prospect in the class, but he was the low man. ESPN had him as high as sixth on their draft board, Fangraphs at ninth, and Baseball America at seventh. The Nats represented a potential floor, then, at number 11 where they got him.
House brings a big bat, but there are some concerns about his hit tool, and most expect him to eventually move to third base. Still, his ceiling is tremendous, and for the Nats, he represents good value.
The Nats farm system looks much more robust today than it did yesterday with House joining trade acquisitions like Keibert Ruiz and Josiah Gray. Prior to those acquisitions, House was probably going to be near the very top of the Nats’ prospect chart. Now, he’ll slot in further down, but he’ll still be a top-ten prospect from the jump.
House represents a class of his own in some ways, however, as most of the prospects the Nationals targets should be in the big leagues within the next year or two. House’s timeline is probably further out than that. High school prep athletes tend closer to the three-to-five-year development path.