Nats' Kieboom, Garcia score spring invites

Nos. 25, 75 overall prospects going to Washington camp

Carter Kieboom and Luis Garcia both played in the Futures Game at Nationals Park in 2018. (Patrick Cavey/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | February 12, 2019 4:50 PM

Exciting shortstops will not be in, well, short supply at Nationals Spring Training camp in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The Nationals have invited No. 25 overall prospect Carter Kieboom and No. 75 Luis Garcia to Major League Spring Training camp, the club announced Tuesday.

Neither player is on the 40-man roster and required non-roster invitations to appear on the big league side at Spring Training next week, and neither is expected to truly compete for a Major League roster spot just yet.

Kieboom is closer to the Majors after splitting 2018 between Class A Advanced Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg. The 21-year-old right-handed slugger hit .280/.357/.444 with 16 homers and nine stolen bases over 123 total games. A 2016 first-round pick, Kieboom is a potential plus hitter with above-average power, especially for a middle infielder. His defensive home remains up in the air. He's considered an average shortstop with a good arm, but he's blocked at the position by Trea Turner in the Majors. Kieboom spent time at second base in the Arizona Fall League, and it's possible he's the long-term solution there with the Nats signing Brian Dozier to just a one-year deal this offseason.

Video: Harrisburg's Kieboom connects on another homer

Garcia also has experience all over the infield, but the 18-year-old is far enough from the Majors that Washington is hoping to keep him at shortstop. He hit .298/.336/.406 with seven homers and 12 stolen bases in 127 games between Class A Hagerstown and Potomac. Garcia was the youngest player at last year's Futures Game, representing his native Dominican Republic in the annual prospect showcase. The left-handed hitter could eventually develop a plus bat with above-average speed, and his plus arm and good glove should come in handy at any position. He played second and third with Hagerstown last season but only shortstop after his promotion to Potomac in July.

Video: Hagerstown's Garcia knocked a two-run homer

No. 5 Wil Crowe, No. 14 Tres Barrera and No. 26 Jose Marmolejos were the other non-roster invitees ranked among the Nationals' top 30 prospects. The other non-roster invitees this season are catcher Taylor Gushue; infielders Jacob Noll, Matt Reynolds, Brandon Snyder and Jacob Wilson; outfielders Hunter Jones and Chuck Taylor and pitchers Henderson Alvarez, Aaron Barrett, Scott Copeland, J.J. Hoover, Vidal Nuno and Ronald Pena.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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