Nats option Kieboom to alternate site
Top Nationals prospect Carter Kieboom, mired in an 0-for-11 funk, on Wednesday was optioned to the club's alternate training site in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Kieboom was hitless since Aug. 17 and had a .200/.359/.200 slash line in 17 games. While he drew 11 walks, he struck out 20 times in 64
Top Nationals prospect
Kieboom was hitless since Aug. 17 and had a .200/.359/.200 slash line in 17 games. While he drew 11 walks, he struck out 20 times in 64 plate appearances. In Tuesday night's 8-3 loss to the Phillies, the 22-year-old infielder went 0-for-4 and bounced into a pair of first-pitch double plays.
"To me, those pitches were two good pitches to hit, he was just a little tardy on them," Nationals manager Dave Martinez told reporters Wednesday. "We want him to be aggressive in those situations, get a ball that we feel like he can drive. Those were two balls that I really felt like he should hit hard -- one of them was almost down the middle. We've got to somehow get him going."
Drafted 28th overall in 2016, Kieboom was batting .258 as recently as Aug. 14. But he was 2-for-27 since then with no extra-base hits, three RBIs and a run scored.
Asked whether he thought Kieboom might be pressing at the plate, Martinez said, "A little bit. As a young kid, you want to go out there, you want to impress, you want to help your team win. Sometimes you get result-driven, you just want to get hits. You've got to go pitch by pitch, try to get a good pitch to hit, hit the ball hard. You can't control where they go. Hopefully, we'll figure something out for him and we'll go from there."
Martinez announced during Summer Camp that Kieboom would get most of the playing time at third base following the departure of free agent Anthony Rendon. While most of the time he played at shortstop during four seasons in the Minor Leagues, the Georgia native committed just one error in 46 total chances this year.
Kieboom is a two-time Futures Game selection and has been an MiLB.com Organization All-Star the past three years. He had a breakout season in 2017, despite spending time on the injured list with a right hamstring ailment. In 48 games with Class A Hagerstown, he batted .296 with eight homers and 26 RBIs, then split the following year between Class A Advanced Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg, producing a .280/.357/.444 slash line with 16 homers and 69 RBIs in 123 games.
Daren Smith is an editor for MiLB.com.