Phillies: Three players who will break out in 2021
By Matt Rappa
1. Scott Kingery, UTIL
It is hard to believe, but the 2021 season will be the fourth already for Scott Kingery in the majors. Just days prior to Opening Day in 2018, the Phillies signed the Phoenix, Arizona, native to a six-year contract with $24 million guaranteed through the 2023 season, along with three club options for the 2024 through 2026 seasons.
Essentially, the Phillies bought out Kingery through his arbitration years and then some, hoping they would get a bargain in the latter years of the contract. The problem is, Kingery has not even provided much value to date, still early on in the deal. Kingery has slashed a combined .233/.284/.393 to date with 62 doubles, 30 home runs, 96 RBI, 25 stolen bases, 67 walks, and 308 strikeouts spanning 309 games and 1,108 plate appearances.
This past season, the former second-round draft pick battled the COVID-19 virus and was not able to bounce back, only collecting 10 singles, five doubles, and three home runs through 124 plate appearances.
What has been valuable so far in the Kingery contract is his versatility. He has played six different fielding positions so far (excluding his inning-plus on the mound), and has committed only 26 errors spanning nearly 860 chances.
The Phillies were not wrong to take this chance on Kingery. He had a strong spring training showing, and a year prior, was named the organization’s minor-league player of the year after posting a combined .304 batting average, 29 doubles, 26 home runs, and 65 RBI between the Double-A and Triple-A levels.
Kingery is bound to break out offensively sooner or later, and why can’t this coming season be the year he finally does it?