Nationals Carter Kieboom for big league debut
WASHINGTON (AP) — Carter Kieboom’s rapid rise through the Washington Nationals‘ minor league system is complete, and perhaps no one is more amazed than the infielder himself.
The 28th overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft was set to make his major league debut against San Diego on Friday night, batting ninth and playing shortstop.
“This whole thing’s crazy to me,” Kieboom said. “I was in high school three years ago doing art projects and stuff. It’s hard to even describe it. I think it’s going to really set in when I take the field for the first time and get my first hit, get my first out on defense. There’s going to be a lot of firsts out there, and they’re all going to feel really good.”
Washington opted not to bring Kieboom up when incumbent shortstop Trea Turner suffered a broken right index finger on April 2. At the time, Kieboom had yet to play above Double A.
Kieboom hit .379 with three home runs and 18 RBIs with Triple-A Fresno, leading the Pacific Coast League with 16 walks. He was second in on-base percentage at .506.
“With Trea still being weeks away — not months, but weeks away — we felt it would not only get one of our best prospect’s feet wet in the big leagues and give him some experience, but it also strengthens a strength of ours,” general manager Mike Rizzo said. Wilmer Difo will return to a utility role.
Kieboom’s older brother Spencer is a catcher who appeared in 52 games with the Nationals last season and currently is at Double-A.
“It’s a moment I think every kid dreams about,” Kieboom said. “It happened real quick. Next thing you know, I’m here.”