Anthony Rendon signed with the Los Angeles Angels in free agency. Can Carter Kieboom step up for the Washington Nationals and replace him in the middle of the lineup?
The 2019 World Series champions lost some pieces in the offseason. This happens to every team but Anthony Rendon’s departure leaves a massive hole to fill in the roster. Rendon signed a well-deserved seven-year, $245 million
Rendon was more important to the Nationals than most people think. The 29-year-old just made one MLB All-Star Game (2019) in seven years with the team but he was in the top-10 in the race to win the National League MVP award three times.
The star third baseman joins Mike Trout, Albert Pujols
The good news for the Nats is that highly-touted prospect Carter Kieboom is ready to succeed in the majors. Kieboom, like Rendon, is a former first-round pick. He signed with the Nationals right out of high school in 2016.
Carter Kieboom is a 22-year-old shortstop that made his debut with the Nationals in April, 2019 when he replaced an injured Trea Turner. Kieboom hit just .128 with two home runs and two RBIs in 43 at-bats over 11 games before he was sent back down.
The Nationals didn’t call Kieboom up in September and he wasn’t part of the team’s World Series run last year. Kieboom now has a chance to help replace Rendon. It’s up to him to make the most of this opportunity.
Can Kieboom Deliver?
Kieboom struggled at the major league level but he shined with the Fresno Grizzlies in AAA, hitting .303 with 16 home runs and 79 RBIs in 109 games. Don’t expect Kieboom to make everyone forget Rendon, who played at an MVP-level in the regular season and he was a difference-maker in the postseason.
While Carter Kieboom can be an impact player in the near future, he will not match Rendon’s production in 2020. Kieboom will have some pressure but he can help fill Rendon’s shoes. I can’t see him hitting .319 with 34 home runs and 126 RBIs this season like Rendon did last year but he will play well.