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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - J.R. House

By Robert Sherry

J.R. House: One of my favorite players in the minor's, this former 5th round selection in the 1999 draft has become one of the top catching prospects in minors.

In 2000, House played the very talented Single-A Hickory team and posted quite impressive numbers (.348, 23 HR, 90 RBI, 29 2B, 1 3B, 78 R, 46 BB, and 91 SO in 420 AB).  In 110 games, he committed eight errors. He also shared the South Atlantic League's MVP award with Josh Hamilton. The only blemish to his season was that he missed a month while suffering from mononucleosis.

This 20-year-old had an interesting high school career. He played for Seabreeze High (FL) in the spring, while also being a record-setting quarterback (had opportunities to play Division 1-A at several schools including both Georgia and West Virginia) at Nitro High (WV) in the fall. The reason for this is that his father owned businesses in both states. In his senior year, House guided the
football team to a state championship and then went on to hit .600 during the baseball season.

At this point of his career, his offense is ahead of his defense but the catching should catch up as he gets more game experience. Remember, he didn't focus on just one sport in high school. But at 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds. House could eventually be the replacement to Jason Kendall if the Pirates are unable to afford him. House could develop into a middle-of-the-order type of slugger capable of hitting 30+ homers while batting .300+. I think he would be capable of handling a jump to Double-A to start 2000, but it would probably be better if the Pirates are more conservative and just advance him to High-A to start 2001.


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