After his second season in the Phillies organization, second base prospect Scott Kingery is getting plenty of confidence from the club.
When one Phillies official ran through all the players who helped propel Double-A Reading to their 89-win season in 2016, second base prospect Scott Kingery drew specifically high praise. According to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly, that official said, “And, you know, there are many nights when Kingery is the best player on the field.”
This was the same Reading team that featured all three Paul Owens Award recipients in outfielder Dylan Cozens, first baseman Rhys Hoskins, and pitcher Ben Lively. The Fightin’ Phils also featured two top-tier prospects catcher Jorge Alfaro and outfielder Roman Quinn, both of whom later earned a call-up to the majors in September. Kingery told Salisbury Reading’s lineup “had a lot of guys that are going to be future Phillies.”
The high praise this official gave Kingery correlates with the overall confidence the club has in Kingery. After drafting him in the second round of the 2015 draft out of the University of Arizona, they assigned him to full-season Lakewood as opposed to one of the short-season leagues. Kingery started off strong before falling off as the wear of his first full season got to him, as he finished the season with a .250/.314/.337 line in 66 games.
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Despite his pedestrian numbers in Lakewood, the team still showed their confidence in Kingery with a promotion to High-A Clearwater. He shined there this year, hitting for a .770 OPS as he went 26-for-31 in stolen bases in 94 games with the Threshers.
When the Phillies promoted Kingery to Reading in July, he received a verbal vote of confidence from the team.
They told Kingery, “Hey, we’re only going to send up guys who we think can make that already incredible lineup even better,” according to the second baseman. Unfortunately, Kingery’s performance dropped off after he reached Double-A, with his wRC+ falling from 128 in Clearwater to 64 in Reading.
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Even after struggling to round out the season, the club decided to challenge Kingery once again by sending him to the Arizona Fall League. There he got to play with and against top prospects like Gleyber Torres of the Yankees and Yoan Moncada of the Red Sox. Kingery was named to the “Fall Star” Game despite finishing the Fall League season with a .234/.294/.312 line.
Kingery’s hardworking attitude has helped propel him through his baseball career. He walked onto Arizona’s baseball team as a freshman after no Division I school recruited him coming out of high school.
Kingery said, “Looking back, I would not have taken any other route because it made me not take anything for granted. I still carry that in my game today. I still feel like I have something to prove every day so I’m not going to get complacent.”
In 2017, Kingery will likely return to Reading after struggling there to end last season in six weeks of action. If he opens the year similar to how he did in 2016, Kingery will be in Triple-A Lehigh Valley and even the major-leagues sooner rather than later.