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After another poor Spring Training performance at the plate, a former Washington Nationals first-round pick has been sent to the minors yet again.
Disappointment, that’s the best way to describe it.
Carter Kieboom, the highly touted third baseman taken in the first round of the 2016 MLB draft has failed yet again to land a full-time spot on the Nationals roster. Kieboom will start the season in Triple-A after hitting .133 with 17 strikeouts in 49 plate appearances this spring.
Beyond this spring, he has a career .181 batting average in 44 games with the nationals during limited time in two pro seasons. However, in four minor league seasons, Kieboom has shown his potential, hitting .287 with 47 home runs. The jump to the big leagues has seemingly been too much to handle.
Kieboom has struggled to make his mark with the Nationals
With Kieboom sent down to the minors, veteran infielder Starlin Castro will begin the season as the Nationals third baseman. Utility infielders Jordy Mercer and Hernan Perez have also been added to the major league roster and should expect to see some time at third base, according to MLB.com.
Despite the 23-year-old Kieboom’s continued struggles at the plate, Nationals manager Davey Martinez remains optimistic.
“He’s got to keep battling. He’s got to keep battling, and like I said, things will turn for him, I know they will,” Martinez said. “He’s a good young player, so we’ll have to keep working with him and things will turn for him.”
Kieboom will start the season at Triple-A Fresno where Nationals fans, coaches and players hope he can begin to build some positive momentum. Despite positive comments from Davey Martinez, it’s very likely this could be his last chance to prove himself and bump back up to the major league level after more than four seasons of development.
With a number of injuries already this spring, the Nationals could use the additional bat.