Phillies: Five Bold Predictions for Spring Training
Scott Kingery will start the season at 3B
Yes, Jean Segura has been taking reps at third base and some people have been saying the Phillies strongly prefer him at that position compared to shortstop or second base.
If we’re breaking down who fits best between Scott Kingery and Segura at 3B and 2B we should start by mentioning Segura doesn’t have playing experience at 3B in his minor or major league career. Kingery has played multiple positions in his young career, including third base.
Scott is a much more versatile fielder than Jean and it would seem to make more sense to put Jean at 2B, a position he has played before in the majors.
If we look at MLBs new infield defensive metric, infield Outs Above Average, Kingery is a better infield defender than Segura by a good margin. OAA described in the short version is broken down into four things, how far the fielder has to go to reach the ball, how much time he has to get there, how far he then is from the base the runner is heading to, and on force plays how fast the batter is on average.
To get an idea, the leader in this category is Cubs Javier Baez with a +19. Kingery ended 2019 with a +3 OAA while Segura finished with -4 on the season.
The Phillies leaders were Cesar Hernandez and Rhys Hoskins at +4. If we are going by that metric it looks like placing Kingery on the hot corner could benefit the Phillies more in 2020.
Girardi said he would like Kingery to play one position the whole season, which may not be too possible if we expect Alec Bohm to get a call up. If Bohm is called up at some point in 2020 it would be a much smoother switch to move Kingery from 3B to CF and make room for Bohm while have Haseley inevitably move to the bench, keeping Jean right where he was at 2B.
"Girardi said, “What we’re going to see is they both can play both positions very well.”"
It will be more clear what direction they want to go as spring training rolls along.