Scott Kingery’s days as a Philadelphia Phillies player could be numbered.
Kingery would not necessarily depart via a trade or release to free agency, but rather the upcoming Rule 5 Draft, as Twitter user Phillies Bell notes. Typically held at the end of the Winter Meetings, the 2021 draft is slated for Thursday, December 9 (although the pending lockout could push it back).
Teams always try to be creative in finding talent through this draft, and Kingery is perhaps among the more intriguing options to be “plucked.” The Phillies famously found Shane Victorino in the Rule 5 Draft. The Hawaii native would go on to become a two-time World Series champion, two-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award-winning outfielder.
Given Kingery is not on the Phillies’ 40-man roster, he is exposed to any team wishing to have him on their big-league roster for the entirety of the 2022 season. The Arizona native has struggled the past two seasons, playing only 51 big-league games combined while slashing .144/.204/.250.
Kingery’s best season came in 2019, when in 126 games under Gabe Kapler he hit .258 with 34 doubles, four triples, 19 home runs and 55 RBI — all the while stealing 15 bases in 19 attempts.
Now that the Phillies currently have Alec Bohm, Jean Segura, Didi Gregorus and Rhys Hoskins in the infield, the team has somewhat moved on from what was once considered its most promising prospect in Kingery. Not to mention, Bryson Stott has made headlines for his recently play in the Arizona Fall League — and seems poised to be the next full-time Phillies shortstop as early as next season.
Kingery’s ability to play just about every position in the field could be attractive to a team that thinks they can also correct his batting woes in the meantime. The 27-year-old is still owed $14.5 million over the 2022 and 2023 seasons, before having a $1 million buyout option in 2024.