Back in March, the Nationals were just hoping prospects Juan Soto and Carter Kieboom would be healthy for all of the upcoming 2018 season. Now, Soto is a National League Rookie of the Year contender, and on Wednesday, Kieboom was presented with his own award.
The Nationals named Kieboom -- MLB.com's No. 34 overall prospect -- their Minor League Player of the Year. Lefty Ben Braymer and right-hander Wil Crowe split Pitcher of the Year honors while infielder Jake Noll claimed the Bob Boone Award given to the Minor Leaguer "who best demonstrates the professionalism, leadership, loyalty, passion, selflessness, durability, determination and work ethic required to play the game the 'Washington Nationals Way.'"
Video: Harrisburg's Kieboom strokes walk-off double
Kieboom produced a .280/.357/.444 line with 16 homers, one triple, 31 doubles and nine steals over 123 games split almost evenly between Class A Advanced Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg. His 48 extra-base hits tied for tops among Nationals Minor Leaguers while his 16 homers ranked third and his 69 RBIs second. The shortstop, who turned 21 on Sept. 3, was also named a Carolina League midseason All-Star and featured in the All-Star Futures Game in July.
The 2016 first-rounder was limited to only 61 games during what was meant to be his first full season in 2017 due to a hamstring injury. Beyond his strong bat, he has an above-average arm that should help him anywhere on the infield. Kieboom is slated to play for Salt River in the Arizona Fall League next month.
Offseason MiLB include
Crowe was taken in the second round of the 2017 Draft out of the University of South Carolina. The 24-year-old right-hander posted a 3.40 ERA and 1.31 WHIP with 94 strikeouts and 48 walks in 116 1/3 innings between Class A Short Season Auburn, Potomac and Harrisburg. Washington's No. 5 prospect received above-average grades from MLB.com for his fastball, curveball and slider.
Braymer, an 18th-rounder out of Auburn in 2016, led Nationals Minor Leaguers with a 2.28 ERA over 114 2/3 frames between Class A Hagerstown and Potomac. His 118 strikeouts ranked third. The 24-year-old southpaw opened the season in the Suns bullpen but transitioned to a starting role in June after being promoted to the Carolina League.
Noll hit .291/.341/.412 with 11 homers and seven steals across 132 games with Potomac and Harrisburg. He led the system with 72 RBIs. All four honorees played significant portions of their seasons in the Carolina League.