Must-see Scott Kingery play saves Phillies lead vs. Braves
By Matt Rappa
Phillies center fielder Scott Kingery made one of the best fielding plays of the 2020 season
The start to the 2020 season has been rough for three-year Philadelphia Phillies veteran Scott Kingery. Entering Friday’s series opener against the Atlanta Braves, the 26-year-old is slashing just .111/.172/.111 with one RBI; all six of his hits are singles spanning 58 plate appearances.
While Kingery has contributed seemingly next to nothing at the plate, he made perhaps one of the best plays throughout Major League Baseball to help preserve the 1-0 Phillies lead in the second inning.
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After Braves third baseman Austin Riley worked a nine-pitch walk opposite Phillies ace Aaron Nola, second baseman Johan Camargo worked a 1-2 count against the right-hander, before lining out to Kingery in deep center field. The fielding play was anything but easy for Kingery, however. Kingery made a tremendous catch, crashing into the fence, before landing on the warning track.
Nola went on to strike out center fielder Ender Inciarte swinging and left fielder Cristian Pache looking to end the inning without allowing a run.
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Kingery began the 2020 season at second base, but has since transitioned back to a utility player role ever since top hitting prospect Alec Bohm was promoted to the majors earlier this month. Bohm’s call-up shifted Jean Segura back to second base, leaving Kingery without a set, everyday position.
Kingery has recently filled in for the injured Adam Haseley in the meantime, and on Friday got the start with Roman Quinn manning right field for Bryce Harper (rest).
The once-considered high-ranking hitting prospect himself in Kingery has not only battled the COVID-19 virus early on in summer camp, but also a back problem, and recently a left shoulder ailment. All factors are likely contributors to his early-season struggles at the plate, but it was nice to see him make a tremendous fielding play early on against the division-rival Braves on Friday.
Perhaps that was the type of play Kingery needed to regain some confidence in the major leagues.