Kingery’s role in 2019
Had Kingery been any other player last year, he would have been optioned back to Triple-A quickly. Based on his performance once he reached Triple-A in 2017 (his best numbers came in Reading) a second stint in Lehigh Valley could have been useful. Instead, Kingery was kept in the majors all year, likely due to that contract extension.
Mercifully, Kingery will not be a part of the starting lineup every day this year. The team acquired Jean Segura from the Mariners during the offseason, who is under team control through the 2023 season. Manager Gabe Kapler stated Kingery could compete with Maikel Franco for the starting third base job, but in all likelihood, Kingery will be back in the super utility role he started last year in.
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Even though Kingery was a second baseman during his time in the minors, the team insisted he could play multiple positions. He got time at second, shortstop, third, and all three outfield positions last year, although a majority of his time came at shortstop. We will likely see a more even split between the infield positions barring an injury.
In the event Kingery still struggles at the plate this year, we could see him be sent back down to the minors.
The club showed they were willing to do this last year with Aaron Altherr and Hector Neris. It would throw major egg in the face of the front office, but it may be the best move for Kingery’s long-term future.
If Kingery does not show at least some potential this year, there will be major questions about his future with the team. His contract makes things significantly more complicated as he is guaranteed $20.5 million from 2020 through 2023. It’s unlikely he will be able to be moved with any semblance of a return due to this contract if he doesn’t show some value.