When Carter Kieboom steps into the box against the Class A Advanced Red Sox, special things seem to happen.Washington's third-ranked prospect smacked his Carolina League-leading third grand slam of the season in Potomac's 10-8 loss to Salem during the nightcap of Thursday's doubleheader at Haley Toyota Field.
When Carter Kieboom steps into the box against the Class A Advanced Red Sox, special things seem to happen.
Washington's third-ranked prospect smacked his Carolina League-leading third grand slam of the season in Potomac's 10-8 loss to Salem during the nightcap of Thursday's doubleheader at Haley Toyota Field.
"It's weird because these are the first three grand slams I think I've ever hit," Kieboom said. "It's kind of a coincidence it keeps coming against the same team. I hit in the two spot, I don't come up with the bases loaded all of the time.
"I seem to come up with the bases loaded quite a bit against these guys. It's weird, I don't do it often, but I've been pretty fortunate to come up big in these moments."
MLB.com's No. 81 overall prospect began his grand parade against Salem on April 16, when he belted his first of the trio in the fourth inning against reliever Algenis Martinez. Less than a month later, Kieboom went deep in the ninth off Jared Oliver. The 12 RBIs Kieboom has in three swings against Salem account for more than a third of his season total (33).
Gameday box score
"If people are big stat guys, I'm personally not, but if you are those 12 RBIs certainly help that category," the 20-year-old said. "I guess opportunities have arisen a fair amount against these guys. I don't know, I go up there with the same approach and I'm just looking for a good pitch to hit. I'm not trying to do too much with it. When you hit these grand slams or home runs, that's when they happen, when you go up there and look for a good pitch to drive and not trying to do too much with it."
After an 0-for-3 performance during a 2-0 loss in Game 1, the 20-year-old whiffed in his first at-bat of the second contest and popped up in his second plate appearance before getting his opportunity in the fourth. The stage was set by consecutive two-out singles from David Masters and Edwin Lora and a walk to Jack Sundberg.
Looking for a hittable pitch down the middle of the zone, Kieboom deposited a 2-0 offering from third-ranked Red Sox prospectTanner Houck over the left field wall -- his seventh long ball in 2018.
"I'd be lying saying [the grand slam] wasn't in the back of my mind," Kieboom said. "We had a good rally at that point and I'm just trying to keep it going. ... I was fortunate enough to get into a good count. That was my third time facing [Houck], so I had kind of seen all of his stuff. ... He threw it right where I wanted it and I came out on top of that one."
Adding an infield single to lead off the sixth, Kieboom raised his season average to .290 and his OPS to .835.
For Salem, No. 12 Red Sox prospect Bobby Dalbec drove in six RBIs across the two games, including a career-high five in Game 2 on a three-run homer and two-RBI single.
Andrew Battifarano is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter, @AndrewAtBatt.