It’s Top 20 season at Baseball America, and as they wend their way down from AAA, Carter Kieboom is the first National to appear as the #4 prospect in the Pacific Coast League (sorry, no link: paid sub).
Like 2018, Kieboom saw his share of ups and downs in 2019, and did fade again down the stretch (1.161 OPS in April, .938 in May, .996 in June, then .733 in July, and .758 in August. He was briefly called up to the big club in April, and hit, well, like a 21-y.o. with very little upper minors experience (.128/.209/.282, 16K in 11G).
Arguably, there are more questions about his defense than his offense, which has also been the case for the past two seasons. In 2019, Kieboom cut down on his errors (26 in 1,013 inn. to 20 in 1,026⅔ inn.; that includes four in 11G at the MLB level) but the scouts still say he’s better suited to 2B, where he started a career-high 41 games.
As noted in this space a year ago, it would appear that Kieboom’s future place in the Nationals infield will hinge upon the present 3B Anthony Rendon and the future IF Luis Garcia (who also split time between SS and 2B in 2019), presuming that the Washington GM doesn’t trade him, which is not a given.