Brady House was the Nationals' first round pick in the 2021 MLB draft. He was hampered in his first professional season with a lingering back issue, but has since made big strides as he moved up multiple minor league levels in 2023.
The questions is: when will the Nationals call him up to the big leagues?
I think the question should instead be: when will House be called up in 2024, not if. He most definitely will appear with the big league team at some point, barring injury or extremely poor play. House has steadily improved at each level and could force the Nats' hand. Fortunately for House, there is also really no one ahead of him on the third base depth chart, at least no one that he cannot easily surpass. The most likely opening day 3rd baseman is newly signed Nick Senzel. Senzel didn't have a good year in 2023 with the Reds and I see him mostly as a placeholder until House gets called up, especially considering his contract is only for 1 year and $2M. If Senzel gets replaced, it is not a difficult pill for the Nationals to swallow financially. The only other options on the 40 man roster are Jake Alu, Carter Kieboom, and Ildemaro Vargas. While serviceable, none of these players come even close to the offensive potential that Brady House is expected to have.
My prediction is that Brady House gets called up on August 1st, just after the trade deadline. I think the Nationals are hoping that Nick Senzel will garner some trade value and then they will try to flip him at the deadline. I also would like to see House have a good season in the minor leagues instead of throwing him into Major League action too soon. If he continues his current trends, House should make quick work of AAA Rochester.
However, the Nationals do have a track record of calling up young prospects early in the season. Bryce Harper made his major league debut in late April while Juan Soto was called up in the later part of May. Both were just 19 at the time of their debuts, meanwhile House turns 21 in June. I think that the qualifying event for House will be if he starts out hot.
Personally, I have mixed feelings on calling up young players. I think there is no need to rush House because the team in all likelihood will not be competing for a playoff spot this year. Harper and Soto's debut teams in 2012 and 2018 respectively were competing very well, and their callups were meant as a jolt to those contending teams.
I know a decent percentage of the Nationals' fanbase would like for the Nationals to have House, Wood, Crews, etc... on the opening day roster. While that would be pretty cool, there is just no need to rush this since our playoff window has not opened yet. Each of these players have areas that they can work on before being called up. However, when looking at Brady House's stat lines across three minor league levels last year, there really was not anything missing. He only hit 12 home runs but played in just 88 games. If Brady House can hit 20+ home runs in a full major league season, I'll be happy.
Considering the Nationals made big roster moves after last year's trade deadline, I will stick with my prediction of August 1st as Brady House's debut date. He played in three minor league levels last year and giving him a nice long stint at one level this spring will do him good. If House does well in Spring Training, I think it is likely he starts in AAA Rochester, which would of course increase his chances of making his debut sometime this season.
When do you think the Nationals will call up House? Let us know in the comments.