Washington Nationals remain confident in Carter Kieboom


Trying again on his 2020 marketing campaign in late September, shortly after it ended with a bone bruise on his hand, the results of a hit-by-pitch, Carter Kieboom, Washington’s 23-year-old, 2016 first spherical choose, mentioned that there have been positives to take from his .202/.344/.212 run within the 60-game COVID marketing campaign, which he completed at -0.3 fWAR in 33 video games and 122 plate appearances.

“I used to be very proud of the way in which protection went this 12 months,” Kieboom mentioned, after shifting from brief to 3rd base the place there was a spot/want on the Nationals’ huge league roster.

“It was a brand new place and that was my huge problem to myself this 12 months, was studying that place and attempting to take care of it and play it to the most effective I can.”

“From an [offensive] standpoint,” he added, “clearly it was not the way in which I needed it to go, however I discovered so much, I’m getting increasingly comfy.”

Did he present sufficient for the Nationals to depend on him to man third base in 2021? Will he be competing for the spot in Spring Coaching?

“He’s positively obtained to compete,” supervisor Davey Martinez informed reporters when he spoke on a Zoom name earlier this week.

“One factor I can say — I sat again as I at all times do on the finish of the 12 months, and I checked out every part, and consider it or not, his protection was actually, actually good.

“We moved him round, he performed much more on the second base facet due to the shifting however he’s positively gotten so much higher.”

Transferring across the infield as he has on the way in which up, Kieboom mentioned in September, helped him when he ended up round second in defensive shifts.

“It helps tremendously,” he defined. “These days — on the scorecard I’m a 3rd baseman, however you play groups just like the [Tampa Bay] Rays for instance, they usually’ve obtained seven lefties within the lineup, six lefties within the lineup on a given evening, you’re going to be enjoying majority second base in a way, so double play depth of a second baseman. So, it positively helped me so much. It’s all totally different angles, and the extra you may get used to these angles and the stuff like that, and the balls off the bat, it begins to turn out to be second nature, and that’s type of how I felt with the second base this 12 months, I felt like I didn’t really feel misplaced in any respect. I didn’t really feel like I used to be in a shift, you could possibly say, I felt like I used to be simply enjoying second base.

“With that type of mindset and that angle in the direction of it, I felt very comfy and I didn’t actually have an issue going backwards and forwards.”

His struggles on the plate, nonetheless, did result in him being despatched all the way down to the membership’s Alternate Coaching camp in Fredericksburg, Virginia at one level, although his supervisor mentioned the membership remains to be assured in Kieboom’s skill to contribute on the huge league degree going into 2021.

“I’ve obtained all the boldness on this planet on this child,” Martinez mentioned of the highest infield prospect within the group going into the 2020 marketing campaign.

“I feel he’s going to be positive, however he’s obtained to consider that in himself and he’s obtained to go on the market and he’s obtained to take cost and he’s obtained to need the job. I’m behind him 100% and I’ve talked to him and I’ve informed him, and I mentioned, ‘Hey, you’re our future third baseman, and the longer term is now. So that you’ve obtained to return to Spring Coaching and be able to go. The job is yours however you’ve obtained to earn it.’ So he is aware of that. Transferring ahead hopefully he involves Spring Coaching raring to go.”

[ed. note – “Also, there’s this speculation…”]:

Nats have talked to the Reds about 3B Eugenio Suarez. Nothing imminent or believed anyplace shut. Kieboom would make sense in a package deal. Prospects the Nats don’t wish to deal: Rutledge, Cavalli, Garcia.

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 18, 2020