We’ve officially entered the top ten prospects in the Phillies system. Leading off the top ten is the 2015 second-round pick, second baseman Scott Kingery.
The Phillies 2015 draft class produced two prospects in the top ten of this list, the first being second baseman Scott Kingery. As a junior at Arizona in 2015, Kingery slashed .392/.423/.561 on his way to earning Pac-12 player of the year honors. He played in the outfield his first two seasons in college, but the high school shortstop moved to second his junior year.
The Phillies wanted to test Kingery after the draft, assigning him to Low-A Lakewood upon signing him. He didn’t shine but he wasn’t too bad there. Kingery finished the season with a .701 OPS, stumbling to the finish with a .234/.302/.298 after August 1. It was clear Kingery was fatigued by that point.
Kingery started 2016 with High-A Clearwater performing much better than his initial season in the system. Through 94 games with the Threshers, Kingery had a .293/.360/.411 line with a 128 wRC+. His plate discipline was impressive with a 7.9% walk rate and above-average 12.9% strikeout rate.
Thanks to his torrid hitting in Clearwater, the Phillies promoted Kingery to Double-A Reading at the end of July. He struggled upon reaching Reading, carrying a .606 OPS in 37 games there. Double-A pitchers clearly took advantage of Kingery, striking him out in 21.7% of his plate appearances.
Kingery has the potential for power, flashing some raw power in batting practice. In-game, Kingery has a line-drive oriented swing, so his long-term power will most likely go to the gaps. He hit just five home runs in 586 plate appearances this year, so Kingery’s power is definitely in the developmental stage.
While his power might not become anything special in games, Kingery is still a sound offensive contributor. He puts the ball in play plenty and can beat out ground balls thanks to his plus speed. His speed also translates onto the basepaths and he has the instincts to swipe 30+ bases per season. Between High-A and Double-A, Kingery was 30-for-37 in stolen base attempts this year.
On defense, Kingery can make mistakes, but he should be an average fielder in time. He and J.P. Crawford could form a solid double-play combo in the future.
Kingery may not be the next Chase Utley, but he should still be a solid contributor to the Phillies in the future. Considering his stint in Reading this year went poorly, he will likely return in 2017. A debut next year won’t come until September at the latest, but I fully expect Kingery to replace Cesar Hernandez at some point in the 2018 season.