As part of MLBPipeline.com's visit to all 30 Spring Training facilities, we'll be sitting down with prospects and getting to know them a little better. At Nationals camp, it was No. 4 prospect Carter Kieboom. WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The Nationals took Carter Kieboom with their first pick in
As part of MLBPipeline.com's visit to all 30 Spring Training facilities, we'll be sitting down with prospects and getting to know them a little better. At Nationals camp, it was No. 4 prospect Carter Kieboom.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The Nationals took Carter Kieboom with their first pick in 2016, selecting the Georgia prep product 28th overall in the first round. He joined his brother Spencer, a 2012 fifth-rounder who made his big league debut last October, in the Nats' system upon signing, and then enjoyed a solid pro debut in the Rookie Gulf Coast League.
MLBPipeline.com: You're the youngest of three baseball-playing Kieboom brothers behind Spencer and Trevor (who played two seasons at Georgia) who graduated from Walton High (Marietta, Ga.). In your opinion, which one of you had the best prep career?
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Kieboom: I think we all had pretty successful careers, and we obviously all came out of there as much better players. I don't know what all of our stats say, but we each showed what we could do and how to be a leader in that program.
MLBPipeline.com: What was the first thing Spencer said to you after you were drafted by the Nationals?
Kieboom: He just told me to enjoy it and that I was about embark on the greatest journey of my life. We worked out together in the offseason, and it was very helpful to have a guy around who knows what he's doing and has been doing it for the past five or six years. Now I'm here in Spring Training playing right next door to him.
MLBPipeline.com: So it's safe to say you were eager to congratulate him when he was called up to the big leagues last year?
Kieboom: Oh yeah. He called me right when it happened. It doesn't matter how you get to the big leagues; some guys get up there through injuries while others get up there through their play. Spencer was just very thankful and very fortunate that he got the call.
MLBPipeline.com: What was the transition from high school to pro ball like for you last summer?
Kieboom: It was good. I felt like I fit in just fine. Having grown up playing against such good competition, there wasn't a ton to adjust to in terms of the speed of the game. But there are things you can get away with in high school that you can't in pro ball, and in my first year I learned a lot of things and knew exactly what I needed to work on in the offseason.
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MLBPipeline.com: Is there anything specific you're working on in camp this spring? I saw you taking some grounders at shortstop on the back fields earlier and it looked like you were focusing on maintaining a certain arm slot on your throws. Is that accurate?
Kieboom: Yeah, that's something I'm working on. I've had a tendency to get too long with my arm stroke, so I've been working with the coaching staff to stay shorter and stay on top of the ball. I like it a lot; it keeps my arm in better shape and helps with my accuracy. It just feels cleaner.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.