Today the Washington Nationals announced their non-roster invitees for this year’s Spring Training Camp. Of the seven players who received an invitation, Spencer Kieboom is one of the lucky ones.
Once one of the Nationals’ top prospects, Dutch offspring Spencer Kieboom split the 2017 season between the AA Harrisburg Senators and the AAA Syracuse Chiefs. The 2017 season started with a scare though as the Nationals designated Spencer for assignment on March 2. Nevertheless, he was sent to the Syracuse Chiefs four days later. On April 8, he was sent to the Nats’ Spring Training Camp. With this year’s invitation, it is the fourth time, the Nationals add him to their ST roster.
Strange enough, his 2017 numbers as a hitter were better with at AAA than at AA. With the Syracuse Chiefs, Spencer hit .250 with five home runs, with the Harrisburg Senators, Spencer hit just .183.
Behind the plate, Spencer did not commit any errors, both in AAA and in AA. Compared to his 2014 and 2015 season, his numbers of thrown out runners at stealing attempts dropped. In 2014 and 2015 he threw out 40%, in 2017 he threw out “only” 22%.
With Matt Wieters and Pedro Severino on the 40-man roster, there’s only a slim chance Spencer will make the Opening Day roster. Next to Spencer and the aforementioned catchers, also Jhonatan Solano and Taylor Gushue have received an invitation. Solano is already on the wrong side of 30 and doesn’t really impress in the batter’s box. Gushue split the 2017 season between A-Advanced and AA. At AA he still has to make adjustments at AA as he hit a meager .083. Gushue is one of the Nationals’ top prospects, ranked 15th, right behind Pedro Severino. But since Severino has appeared in only 17 games last season, perhaps Spencer can impress manager Dave Martinez.