Washington Nationals: Carter Kieboom needs more time before rash decision
A less than stellar start to his career has some wanting to jump ship on Carter Kieboom. The Washington Nationals shouldn’t even be entertaining offers yet.
We had a brief look at Carter Kieboom in 2019 and a more extended look in 2020, and neither have left us feeling warm and fuzzy about the future of the young prospect.
The sample size remains small, with Kieboom having just 165 plate appearances over those two seasons. Although he has not displayed power at the major league level yet, the potential is there.
When he was first brought up a year ago, it was when the Nationals were scuffling with a record of 11-12. The pressure was on for him to right the ship, yet the Nats didn’t and Kieboom hit just .128 in 11 games before being sent back down.
His second audition came with the responsibilty of following Anthony Rendon at the hot corner, and with the message the job was his to lose.
He lost it.
A late season demotion to the alternate training facility, followed by a weak performance when he returned, has left many wondering what the future holds in DC for Kieboom.
The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli recently broke down the Nationals players into trade tiers, with Kieboom listed in the “we will listen, but hang up quickly” level.
"Kieboom would be another sell-low guy, but – similar to Robles – the Nats should at least listen. If he’s not going to be the third baseman of the future, Kieboom could be packaged with prospects to address a need."
The Nationals do need to give him the opportunity to be the third baseman of the future. Didn’t the Minnesota Twins give up on David Ortiz prior to him hitting 483 home runs in Boston? Hasn’t J.D. Martinez hit 214 home runs since the Houston Astros gave up on him?
Until the Nationals know what they have in Kieboom they can’t be “packing him with prospects to address a need”.
The Twins gave Ortiz nearly 1500 at-bats before jumping ship, and Martinez had almost 1000 ABs before the Astros cut ties with him. Maybe it was the change of scenery which put these two in motion towards better performances. They were given ample time to succeed with their first team, however.
Major League Baseball has become more of a what have you done for me lately league with teams giving up on players way to soon. For the Nationals, Carter Kieboom can not be one of these players.
As long as Kieboom is healthy and hits in spring training next year, he should be given the reins to third base for a substantial amount of time. Stop the Starlin Castro to third base talk and stop the needs to fill Rendon’s shoes chatter.
Allow Kieboom to develop into the player he is, the player the Nationals knew they were going to have when they drafted him in the first round of the 2016 draft. This player has time, the Nationals just need to be patient with him.