In shocking but never surprising news, the Nats sent their top prospect Carter Kieboom to the Washington Nationals’ minor league camp at the Alternate Training Site in Fredericksburg today to make room for Sean Doolittle who was activated from the 10-day IL. On the latest prospect rankings from Baseball America, Kieboom is their 17th top prospect, and Luis Garcia their 100th top prospect.
With Asdrubal Cabrera at third base more and more and Garcia solidifying himself at second base, it makes some sense to get Kieboom off the active roster due to the diminished playing time plus we are fives days until the trading deadline, and general manager Mike Rizzo might have some moves.
Tonight, Garcia will appear in his eleventh game in his career and the 20-year-old already has more games played and MLB at-bats than his father accumulated in his entire career for the Detroit Tigers. The elder Luis Garcia by the same name only had one start in his career and nine at-bats. Baseball can be cruel as we have seen again. His father spent ten seasons in the Minor Leagues and grinded it out as a middle infielder. His son was born in New York during his 2000 minor league season while he was with the Cardinals Triple-A affiliate in Memphis. What the elder Garcia did was pass along the baseball genes to his son.
“I feel good,” García said. “I feel great to be here. I want to be here for a long time, and now I’m so excited, so happy to be here and be a good teammate.”
Garcia now looks like a big part of the future if he can keep it up. In all of 37 at-bats, he is slashing .324/.342/.459/.802. On one hand, the OBP is not impressive based on that batting average, and part of that is the umps have consistently been calling strikes out of the zone on the youngster. Nobody is expecting Garcia to put up Soto numbers or be pitched around to take more walks. Garcia just has to show that he can be a quick learner and so far so good.
“The kid’s a player,” manager Dave Martinez said. “He loves to play the game. He goes up there, he works good at-bats, he battles. You watch him, he’s pretty smart. All you’ve got to do is tell him once where to play, and he’s got it. You don’t have to move him around. He’s going to get it. He’s going to learn. He loves being here, we love having him. He’s got a lot of energy. He’s always cheering for his teammates. He’s a lot of fun to be around.”
Today feels like a change in direction from Rizzo with regards to Kieboom, but not everything is what it appears on the surface. The bullpen is now carrying ten relievers, and the bench is at four players with the DH in every game.