Nationals infielder Carter Kieboom will miss the entire 2022 season, as he’ll undergo Tommy John surgery next week, manager Dave Martinez told reporters (including Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post). The 24-year-old has been on the 60-day injured list since Spring Training because of a UCL sprain in his throwing elbow.
It’ll be a lost critical development year for Kieboom. A former first-round pick, the righty-hitting infielder later developed into one of the sport’s top prospects. He reached the big leagues late in 2019, his age-21 season. The following winter, Baseball America ranked the Georgia native as the most promising player in the Washington farm system and named him the #15 prospect league-wide. The hope was that he’d cement himself as the third baseman of the future after Anthony Rendon departed in free agency, but he’s not yet staked a claim to that job.
Kieboom didn’t hit for any power in 33 games in 2020, finishing the shortened season with a modest .202/.344/.212 slash line. His 13.9% walk rate was strong and reinforced a patient plate approach, but the lack of results on batted balls was jarring. That more or less continued over a larger body of work last year, as he posted a .207/.301/.318 line with six home runs through 249 trips to the dish. Kieboom again drew a fair share of free passes, but he also saw his swinging strike rate jump and posted well below-average exit velocities.
The Nationals’ summer sell-off and retooling year afforded a perfect opportunity to give Kieboom everyday run at the hot corner this season. Washington presumably won’t embrace a multi-year stepback with Juan Soto only controllable through 2024, but the Nats were clearly not positioned to compete this year. Giving 600 plate appearances to a talented but unproven player like Kieboom makes sense for a team in their position, and he’d have probably been the primary third baseman if healthy.
The injury will deprive him of that chance, and it remains to be seen if the Nationals can afford to be so patient in 2023. They’ll presumably be more aggressive in trying to compete next season, and bringing in a more proven option at the hot corner seems plausible. Kieboom, who will collect a full year of MLB pay and service time while recovering, is controllable through 2026 and won’t be arbitration-eligible until the end of next season. The Nationals are hopeful he can be ready for Spring Training.
Why? They can keep him on the IL so he doesn’t block a roster spot.
Talking in the off season. Think he needs a change of scenery
No reason to non-tender him at such a low salary. He’ll make $750K? next season.
Where’s the Kieboom? There’s supposed to be an earth-shattering Kieboom!
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Poor Carter, can’t even throw himself under the bus,
I’ve been following him for the last few years, this stinks so bad. Hope he recovers
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Is Tommy John Surgery to become a prerequisite for baseball? Not sure I like the idea of cutting every young ball player. What say the rest of you?
The “glory” and “prestige” of being able to whip a baseball at 100+ MPH has brought this about. Nobody just “pitches” or “throws” anymore. Look at guys like Warren Spahn. He threw junk for over 20 years but was effective and never had major issues. Even guys like Nolan Ryan got power from his legs, not his elbow. I doubt the younger players will ever be taught that again.
Pedro Martinez’s Mango Tree
Dude is only 24? Feels like he’s been around for 10 years
He was drafted out of middle school at 13
WRONG! He was drafted out of kindergarten after a scout saw his impressive Tee-ball game.
I truly feel bad for the prospects going down with injuries either last year or this one. Most of these guys already lost a year of development in 2020 and losing a second year is usually a kill shot on a young career. So much of your game has to be developed in those crucial years.
Kieboom played in 2020.
For years he was regarded as the Nationals top prospect. A big SS that could field; hit; and hit with power. A future Cal Ripken type.
He couldn’t play SS, was moved to 3B. Isn’t particularly good there. Hasn’t hit particularly well. Maybe another team can rework him. Heaven knows that with the exception of Soto and Harper the Nationals have had major problems for years developing their top prospects to play at the ML level. Victor Robles was supposed to be the prototypical 5 tool player in CF. They’ve been particularly awful working with young pitchers.
Victor Robles was for a couple of years their highest rated prospect. Ahead even of Juan Soto. And he is just a fourth outfielder. Kieboom was also their number one prospect. He has turned out to be a bust. His brother Spencer retired three years ago. Carter should think about it also.
Lol Trumpets mad
Yeah retire at such a young age after being good at something your whole life. People just say anything on this site.
.197, .304 and .285 over more than 400 MLB plate appearances is not good at all. Your saying he has been good at baseball his whole life is just saying anything and Trumpspeak.
Check to see how many all stars started their careers with those type of numbers. I’ll wait.
Should be expected , nats going to nats
Yeah, they really nats in 2019.
The Nats WS win feels like it was a thousand years ago. I mean my team stinks so I’m not trying to insult the Nats or anything, but it feels crazy that they were so stacked a few years ago.
Mostly they wrapped experienced – and often expensive – FA’s around Harper, Strasburg and some so-so prospects that the incoming vets replaced….. along with stealing Trea Turner from Preller.
Over the years their highly rated farm systems have produced little – and since they’re not unique in this regard I’d suggest fans get off of the farm system rankings done by people that can’t get jobs with MLB franchises.
Holy Cow- Wasn’t Watching
To be fair they traded prospects year after year. And won a World Series- the ultimate goal. Kieboom is the reason you trade ‘prospects’
I guess that “big year” Nats fans have been predicting since he was 21 will come when he’s 25
Kieboom goes the dynamite
Poor kid 🙁
Too many screwballs thrown to 1st base.
You Can Put It In The Books
Harper will be next
His injury isn’t surgery related and he’s been hitting well. Despite your best wishes, I don’t see it happening.
his career .197 will be missed in that lineup
If this young man didn’t have bad luck, he would have no luck at all..
Can’t catch a break