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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ 2021 Draft picks; Second-half storylines; Nationals sign non-drafted players+ more...

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Catch up in the last few days of Nationals news while you wait for the second half to start...

91st MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard

Washington’s top pick in this year’s draft, high school shortstop Brady House, offered an interesting comp from among the major league ranks when asked about playing short as an already bigger than average middle infielder, who could end up moving to third at some point according to the Nationals (though he wants to stay at short).

“I’d compare myself a little bit to Trevor Story,” the 6’4’’, 216 lb (at 18 years old) infielder said, comparing himself to the 6’2’’, 215 lb Colorado Rockie.

“You know he’s a bigger shortstop too that hits, got a lot of power, hits for contact, and I’ve been compared to him, so yeah, I’d say Trevor for sure.”

Nationals’ Assistant GM and VP of Scouting Ops Kris Kline said he saw House as a potential Gold Glove winner at third base if his size demanded a shift at some point, but he was asked for his thoughts on the 11th overall pick in the first round’s ceiling as a defender if he stayed at short.

“There were some bigger shortstops, you’ll have to see it for yourself,” Kline said of House’s game. “He doesn’t — he moves different, he moves very graceful for a guy his size, and he’s got a really good flexibility to his lower half. He catches everything, it’s smooth, it’s fluid, and then he’s got that, with that 20-80 [scouting] scale, with 50 being average, he’s got that 70 arm, where he makes up for it if he needs it. So, you know, you look at guys like — bigger guy, and there’s some tall shortstops now in the big leagues. Paul DeJong for the Cardinals, he doesn’t look like the prototypical guy, but he catches everything, and what does he do, he hits and hits for power. I think that he has a chance to stay there, but he’s going to get displaced by the more elite defender at that level if that makes sense.”

It makes sense. Go read your lin—- wait a minute. Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Baca chimed in at one point when Kline was talking and they went back and forth a second about a “Hall of Fame” comp that Baca offered inaudibly on the Zoom call.

Who was it?

“Cal [Ripken],” Baca said hesitantly, “and I was only making the comparison due to size. He might end up being a big man, Cal Ripken is who I was saying. Not to continue on going down this...”

“The comparison is on body type,” Kline clarified. “[House is] 6’4’’, 216, he’s going to be a big man.”

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Mic’d up Juan Soto, Shohei Ohtani react to each other’s power at Home Run Derby - (NBC Sports Washington)
“Soto also received a pep talk from 2019 Derby runner-up Vladimir Guerrero ahead of the swing off; the advice must have worked because Soto went 3-for-3 on his swings to clinch the victory.”

Nationals rookie surprises dad at work, goes viral on TikTok - (WaPost)
“Infielder Robert Anthony Cruz said his dad, Ron, is the ‘hardest worker’ he knows.”

Nationals second-half storylines - (MASN)
“What, then, do the next 2 1/2 months have in store for this team? Can anyone truly say they know?”

Nationals set to open second half playing catchup in NL East - (NBC Sports Washington)
"After going 19-9 in the month of June and pulling to within two games of the division lead, the Nationals lost nine of 11 the rest of the way — all against playoff contenders from the NL West."

Nationals' first-half report card - (MASN)
"This wasn’t the best first half in Nationals history, nor was it the worst. It was arguably the most eventful they’ve ever had..."

Will sluggish Washington Nationals bounce back into contention? - (WaPost)
"The Nats staged a huge comeback in 2019, but everything went right for them that season."

DRAFT CENTRAL:

Favorite picks from 2021 MLB Draft - (MLB.com)
"Nationals: Mack Anglin, RHP (13th round) - We certainly could have gone with 11th overall pick Brady House here, but the potential for the Nats to add Anglin in the 13th round is just too great."

‘It’s a moment I will never forget,’ says Washington Nationals draft pick Elie Kligman - (jns.org)
"Jewish baseball history was made for a second time this week when on Tuesday, 18-year-old Elie Kligman, an Orthodox Jewish teen from Nevada, was drafted by the Washington Nationals."

Cody Greenhill signs with Washington Nationals - (The Auburn Plainsman)
"Steven Williams won’t be the only former Auburn Tiger headed to the nation’s capital as Cody Greenhill signed a free-agent deal with the Washington Nationals on Thursday."

Washington Nationals make Rome Free Academy grad Tyler Schoff an offer - (uticaod.com)
"Tyler Schoff, a Rome Free Academy standout who recently finished his senior year at Bryant University, is joining the Washington Nationals organization>

Indiana baseball adds transfers, begins to offset losses in MLB Draft - (Herald Times Online)
"[O]utfielder Treylen 'T.J.' White, from Moore, S.C., was taken in the fifth round by the Nationals. White announced Wednesday he intends to sign with Washington and begin his pro career."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

10 MiLB.TV matchups to watch on MiLB Major Fun Weekend - (MLB.com)
"That’s right, MiLB.TV will be free on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as part of Minor League Baseball’s MiLB Major Fun Weekend initiative."

Top prospect performers for July 14 2021 - (MLB.com)
"Coming off the worst outing of his professional career, Lee put forth one of his best for High-A Wilmington."

Here are 10 potential pitching targets for Dodgers and Angels - (Los Angeles Times)
"Another potential hurdle in a deal: Scherzer’s agent, Scott Boras, has hinted that the pitcher wants a contract extension in exchange for waiving his rights to veto a trade."

Minor League Transactions: July 3-13, 2021 - (Baseball America)
"Washington Nationals - Signed: RHP Nick Goody | C Diego Moreno | 2B Derek Dietrich."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Braves trade for outfielder Joc Pederson - (AJC.com)
"The Braves aren’t selling - at least not yet. They’re buying, and they made their first purchase Thursday night."

Phillies are a hot team with a favorable schedule as they return to action - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The Phillies get back to work Friday afternoon, looking to quickly rekindle the hot streak they rode into the All-Star break."

Breaking down how Mets have stayed a first-place team - (NY Post)
"Well, just take a walk through the 69 days the Mets have spent in first place. The whole journey tells you a story of how they got here …"

A deep look at the Marlins’ two Bash Brothers - (Fish Stripes)
"Jesús Aguilar and Adam Duvall have been a force all year in the middle of the lineup."