ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Position changes are never easy, but Red Wings third baseman Carter Kieboom has taken it in stride.
Originally drafted as a shortstop, the 23-year-old made the change to third base during his stint with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators.
“I’ve learned to appreciate the game in a way I never had before,” Kieboom said. “I’ve got the defense. I’ve been working so hard at and it’s something I’ve taken a lot of pride into.”
Kieboom fell short of a spot in the big leagues this year after a less-than-ideal stint at Washington’s spring training. Though his fielding skills have improved, the Nationals hope Kieboom’s time in Rochester can help his at-bats become more consistent and boost his confidence at third base.
“So far he’s done a really nice job of playing third base, his ball has some nice carry,” Red Wings manager Matt LeCroy said. “Offensively he’s starting to make that stride we all know he could do, drive the baseball and make a lot of hard contacts. He’s in a good spot right now.”
LeCroy and Kieboom are not strangers, having spent a few weeks together in 2018, while they were both in Harrisburg.
“He’s had my back and he’s pushed me and made me a better player,” Kieboom said. “I appreciate that. That’s all you need in a manger, someone who’s going to push you to work harder and be better everyday.”
As Kieboom has continued to hit his stride, he feels better than ever on the diamond. Instead of giving into frustration when things go wrong — like he did in High-A and struggled — he sees every moment as an opportunity to grow.
“My mentality, my attitude, and where I’m at in terms of spirits is better than I’ve ever been before,” Kieboom said. “You’re going to have good days and bad days, and that’s the way you’re going to take it.”