- - Thursday, April 25, 2019

For the second straight spring, the Nationals are calling up a hot-hitting position player from the minor leagues.

This year, it is infielder Carter Kieboom, 21, who has been on fire with Triple-A Fresno. The Washington Post first reported Kieboom was being called up to the Nationals, who start a series at home Friday night with the San Diego Padres.

Kieboom, Washington’s 2016 first-round draft pick, can play shortstop and second base.

Nationals starting shortstop Trea Turner is on the injured list with a finger injury. He has been replaced by Wilmer Difo, a solid fielder who is more effective as a role player since his offensive power is limited.

Kieboom grew up playing baseball in Georgia with his two brothers. One of his brothers, Spencer, is a catcher in the Nationals’ farm system.

“We would go out with a tennis ball and play pickle,” Carter Kieboom told The Washington Times last year while playing for Double-A Harrisburg. “That is when I started to fall in love with the game.”

QUIZ: Can you match the nickname to the Major League Baseball player?

Kieboom has three homers, six doubles and 18 RBI in just 66 at-bats over 18 games for Fresno, with a 1.142 OPS.

Last season, the Nationals promoted outfielder Juan Soto from Double-A Harrisburg in late May. Soto had one of the best seasons for a teenage hitter in Major League Baseball history.

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