WASHINGTON – Earlier this week while in Philadelphia, manager Dave Martinez of the Nationals inferred that young third baseman Carter Kieboom took some of his at-bats hard after striking out.
The Nationals hope that time spent at an alternate site in Fredericksburg will help Kieboom, who will be part of the taxi squad today in Atlanta, according to Tommy Shields, the co-field coordinator in player development with the Nationals.
“I think he is in a good place. I think he has handled it well,” Shields told Federal Baseball on Friday. “I think Carter is an even-keeled kid, not too many highs and lows. He has never lost track of who he is. He came down and started hitting immediately. Doubles, homers, all over the place. That was exciting to see.”
“He is on the taxi squad in Atlanta tonight,” Shields added. “His week has been great. His hands are working very well (at third). He is getting very confident at third base. He looks very good over there.
“It was an opportunity for him to get a lot of at-bats and he took advantage of it. Hopefully, they can activate him and he can show what he can do.
Kieboom made his Major League debut last year with the Nationals as he played shortstop when Trea Turner was out with an injury.
The Nationals wanted Kieboom to take over at third base in spring training after Anthony Rendon signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Angels.
Before he was sent to the alternate site on Aug. 26, Kieboom, who turned 23 on Thursday, hit .200 in 50 at-bats with the Nationals with no extra-base hits.
“I think he was more than comfortable up there. He wasn’t producing hitting-wise, but he wasn’t panicked over it,” Shields said. “He was trying to work his way out of it. I think his approach was a patient approach. I think he has never lost track of who he is and what he wants to accomplish. He knows he can play.”