Kieboom muscles up for Nationals

No. 2 prospect goes yard twice, plates three runs off Verlander

Carter Kieboom's perfect night at the plate lifted his Grapefruit League average to .364. (Brynn Anderson/AP)

By MiLB.com Staff | March 13, 2019 1:08 AM

Carter Kieboom is a known commodity among the Nationals and their fans, but in case anyone needed a reminder, the club's second-ranked prospect was more than happy to oblige.

The 21-year-old connected on a pair of homers off Justin Verlander and drove in three runs to lead the Nationals past the Astros, 5-3, on Tuesday night at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. MLB.com's No. 25 overall prospect walked in his third plate appearance and ended the night batting .364/.464/.909 with six extra-base hits and eight RBIs in 14 Grapefruit League games.

With the Astros leading, 1-0, in the bottom of the second inning, Kieboom turned around a 2-2 pitch and sent it over the left-center field fence to put the Nats in front. He snapped a 2-2 tie in the fourth with a solo blast to left-center, his third spring homer. The Georgia native completed his perfect night at the plate with a walk in the sixth and was replaced an inning later.

All of Kieboom's roundtrippers have come in the last three games, during which he's 4-for-8 with five RBIs.

The shortstsop and younger brother of Nationals catcher Spencer Kieboom put together a breakout year with Class A Advanced Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg in 2018. He posted a .280/.357/.444 slash line with 48 extra-base hits in 123 games and earned a spot on Team USA at the All-Star Futures Game.

Top Nats prospect Victor Robles singled, walked twice, stole two bases and scored a run.

Astros No. 3 prospect Yordan Alvarez singled twice and scored a run, while 27th-ranked Jeremy Pena contributed a hit and an RBI.

In other spring action:

Braves 5, Cardinals 0

At this time last year, Bryse Wilson wasn't even ranked among the Braves' top 10 prospects. Now he has a legitimate shot to break camp with the big-league club. The Braves seventh-ranked prospect shut down the Cardinals for four innings on Tuesday. The 21-year-old right-hander struck out five, allowed one hit, walked one batter and hit another. Fifth-ranked Austin Riley went 1-for-2 with a run scored as part of Atlanta's eight-hit attack. Top Cardinals prospect Alex Reyes struck out two in a hitless eighth. Box score

Twins 10, Pirates 4

Twins No. 11 prospect Stephen Gonsalves was roughed up in his start at Bradenton, allowing four runs -- three earned -- on four hits and a pair of walks over three innings, but Minnesota routed Pittsburgh. Outfielder LaMonte Wade, the team's No. 22 prospect, delivered a bases-clearing triple in the ninth to seal the win. For the Pirates, prospects Ke'Bryan Hayes (No. 2), Will Craig (No. 15) and Pablo Reyes (No. 18) struck out in their lone at-bats. Box score

Marlins 8, Mets 1

Marlins No. 27 prospect Austin Dean singled and scored in the seventh inning and picked up an RBI on a fielder's choice in the eighth. Mets No. 27 prospect Daniel Zamora gave up two runs -- one earned -- on one hit and two walks and struck out the lone batter he retired. Box score

Tigers 4, Red Sox 3

Kyle Funkhouser, the Tigers' No. 11 prospect, yielded three earned runs in the ninth inning, but Detroit held on to edge the Red Sox in Fort Myers. The right-hander retired the side in order in the eighth but allowed the first three batters in the ninth to reach on a walk, a hit batsman and a single, with all three scoring. Fifth-ranked Tigers prospect Daz Cameron walked and scored a run, while No. 13 Jake Rogers drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Box score

Yankees 8, Orioles 7

Jonathan Loaisiga, New York's second-ranked prospect, struggled in his fourth Grapefruit League appearance and third start. The 24-year-old was charged with six runs -- five earned -- on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts in two innings. Top prospect Estevan Florial singled in two at-bats to raise his spring average to .346. Orioles No. 4 prospect Austin Hays homered, doubled, drove in four runs and scored twice. The 23-year-old has eight RBIs in his last three games. Box score

Giants 4, Brewers 2 (5 innings)

Rain swept through the Phoenix area, forcing multiple cancellations, but Milwaukee and San Francisco made it through five innings. The Brewers' limited offense was generated in part by two ranked prospects. No. 29 Tyrone Taylor belted a two-run homer off Madison Bumgarner in the fifth in his second at-bat of the night, while 30th-ranked Trent Grisham singled right behind him in his lone trip to the plate. Box score

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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