The Nationals have agreed to terms with their first selection from this year’s amateur draft, high school shortstop Carter Kieboom, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson first reported. Bonus terms weren’t reported.
He is the younger brother of Spencer Kieboom, a 25-year-old catching prospect who’s also in the Washington system. The younger Kieboom followed his brother to Marrietta, Georgia’s Walton High School. And he, too, committed to Clemson University, but won’t join him in attending.
It’s an open question whether Kieboom can stick at shortstop for the long run, though expectations are that he’d be a quality defender at third regardless. And his bat could be good enough to carry him at the corner infield, with observers giving him high marks for instincts, bat speed, coordination, and approach at the plate.
In the aggregate, ESPN.com’s Keith Law rates Kieboom as one of the thirty best draft-eligible prospects. Other outlets aren’t quite as enamored, with Baseball America placing him 44th and MLB.com giving him #45 billing.
The Nationals have a $2.066MM allocation for the 28th overall slot, which was used to take Kieboom. Washington also had the next choice, which it used on University of Florida righty Dane Dunnning, who is still pitching in the NCAA tournament.
The club didn’t have much of a need for cost savings, as it selected just one high-schooler in the first ten rounds: southpaw Jesus Luzardo, who was plucked in the third round. The Nats gave up their first-round selection by signing Daniel Murphy.