Kieboom went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI in Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Tigers. The two-bagger was his first extra-base hit this spring. Kieboom had a sluggish start to camp, but he appears to be getting comfortable in the batter's box and has pushed his slash line up to .250/.419/.292 through 31 plate appearances. The same can't be said for his defense, however -- the 22-year-old committed his third error in 11 games Sunday, a clear sign that his conversion to third base remains a work in progress. Kieboom still has a couple weeks to prove to the Nats' coaching staff that he's ready to handle the position right from Opening Day, and that he won't need more time in the minors to adjust.
Kieboom committed an error at third base in Saturday's Grapefruit League game, then went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts Sunday, Sam Fortier of The Washington Post reports. The Nats' top prospect is being given every chance to win the starting job at the hot corner this spring, but so far he's struggling both in the field and at the plate, where he's hitting only .083 (1-for-12), albeit with six walks in 22 plate appearances. "He might be pressing just a little bit," manager Dave Martinez said. "I tried telling him: 'Go up there and have fun. Be aggressive.' " If Kieboom isn't able to turn things around over the next couple weeks, Washington has plenty of veteran infield depth available if it decides he needs more seasoning at Triple-A to begin the season.
Kieboom will have an opportunity to earn the Opening Day job at third base, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports. The 22-year-old made his big-league debut last April with Trea Turner (finger) on the injured list, but the organization's top prospect returned to the minors after struggling at the plate in 11 games with a .128/.209/.282 slash line. The offseason departure of Anthony Rendon leaves a significant hole at third base for the Nationals, and Kieboom could take over at the hot corner with a strong showing in spring training. However, the team has plenty of veteran infield depth (Asdrubal Cabrera, Starlin Castro, Wilmer Difo, Howie Kendrick) should Kieboom be unable to secure the starting job over the next month.
Kieboom is "close" to being ready for the major leagues and is expected to see time at multiple positions during spring training, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports. Kieboom made his big-league debut during the 2019 season, though he went just 5-for-39 with two home runs and four walks in 11 games. The Nationals feel good about how Kieboom is developing at this point and plan to give him plenty of opportunities to see major-league arms during spring training.
Kieboom isn't expected to be promoted from Triple-A Fresno during the final month of the season, Jamal Collier of MLB.com reports. Kieboom will head to West Palm Beach to see at-bats in case he does need to be called up, though the Nationals are unlikely to promote the prospect unless there's an injury. He made his big-league debut earlier this year, going 5-for-39 with two home runs and four walks over 11 games.