Phillies Scott Kingery a Top Prospect

Kingery was the Phillies' 2nd round selection in the 2015 draft out of the University of Arizona. (Photo Credit: Arizona Athletics via
Kingery was the Phillies' 2nd round selection in the 2015 draft out of the University of Arizona. (Photo Credit: Arizona Athletics via /

The Philadelphia Phillies had a player from their organization rank among the Top 10 prospects at 2nd base.

Drafted last June out of the University of Arizona in the 2nd round as the 48th overall selection, Scott Kingery was the Pac-12 Player of the Year, and was considered an advanced prospect, meaning that he was likely to require minimal minor league developmental time.

In their just released rankings, MLB Pipeline, the prospect ranking and evaluation arm of Major League Baseball at their official site, Kingery was rated as the 10th best prospect at the 2nd base position.

In his writeup of Kingery, Jonathan Mayo stated: “…the Phillies sent him straight to full-season ball. Kingery handled the aggressive assignment well, and his advanced approach and hit tool, to go along with his speed, should allow him to move rather quickly.

At the time of his selection, Corey Seidman of quoted Phillies’ scouting director Johnny Almaraz on Kingery: “He’s an advanced hitter, he’s an everyday second baseman…Good swing, got a little pop, doubles with occasional pull power…ability to play defense and set the tone at the top of the lineup, he’s a very exciting player. A lot of quick-twitch, he gets things going.”

Kingery is also ranked as the Phillies own 10th overall prospect by MLB Pipeline and in what is universally regarded as a vastly improved minor league system.

In their Phillies ranking released back in November, Baseball America did not include Kingery among their Top 10 prospects for the organization. In an accompanying Q&A, BA’s Josh Norris was asked if he thought Kingery was better than he showed in his pro debut. Norris’ response: “The Phillies believe so. They envision an offensive second baseman skilled enough to stick at the position long term.”

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That comment tells me that Norris does not necessarily believe in Kingery himself, or he wouldn’t have simply put such an evaluation off on the club with phrasing such as “The Phillies believe…” and “They envision...”

What the team believes is easily discovered by asking team officials. Readers of Baseball America are just as interested in what their evaluators think, and what the wider industry thinks, about prospects.

In that professional debut after signing last summer, Kingery produced a .250/.314/..337 slash line with three homers, 21 RBI, 43 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases in 282 plate appearances with Low-A level Lakewood at age 21 years. Kingery will turn 22 years old in April, and should begin his season at High-A Clearwater in the 2016 season.

The current starter at the 2nd base position in Philly is Cesar Hernandez, who turns 26 years old at the end of May. In his first real full-time exposure as a starter in 2015, Hernandez produced a mixed bag offensively. In 452 plate appearances, he did swipe 19 bases, which was 2nd on the team to the traded Ben Revere

Kingery’s own draft position and strong college offensive pedigree, as well as his developmental level, age, and ranking in the organizational pecking order mean that any true breakout this coming summer could put him on target for a big league debut no later than the 2017 campaign.

Is Kingery the heir apparent to Chase Utley, who was also a Pac-12 player? He has a long ways to go before that comparison can even be considered. However, he will be one of the more interesting Phillies prospects to watch this coming season.

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