Phillies 2019 season preview: Infielder Scott Kingery
Projections for 2019
Projections for Kingery are understandably low. Baseball-Reference predicts Kingery will finish the year with .236/.290/.365 line, nine home runs, 38 runs batted in, and eight stolen bases in 442 plate appearances, similar to his numbers last year.
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ZiPS projects Kingery to finish the year with similar numbers to BRef along with a 76 wRC+ and 0.8 fWAR in 140 games. Steamer only projects Kingery to play 98 games (which makes sense for a utility player) with a wRC+ of 80 and 0.4 fWAR.
It’s hard to project the kind of season Kingery will have given how poor his first season went. Will he perform better now that he doesn’t have to learn shortstop on the fly? Or will his performance decay even further without consistent at-bats? It’s hard to imagine things getting much worse for him, but they certainly could.
The biggest key to Kingery finding success will be developing some semblance of plate discipline.
When you are facing an 0-2 count in nearly a third of your plate appearances, you are bound to fail. The deeper he can work into counts, the more likely he can get quality pitches to hit. That is the most obvious thing for him to improve on this year.
Cesar Hernandez is still a Phillie through this year and next, so Kingery doesn’t need to show massive improvements right away. If he can show enough progress this year to warrant a potential starting spot, it may make Hernandez expendable after the year.