Scott Kingery, 2019
This is a sad state of affairs, as Kingery was supposed to be a building block and fan favorite who would be a fixture of the next great Phillies teams. Instead, all we got was one promising season and then a whole lot of nothing.
The Phillies drafted Kingery in the second round of 2015, then he put himself on the map with a fantastic 2017 season split between Reading and Lehigh Valley, socking 26 home runs and stealing 29 bases. He, we were told, would be the next generation's Chase Utley, and the Phillies set expectations sky-high by signing Kingery to a six-year contract before he had ever played a major league game.
As a result, the Phillies rolled with Kingery right out of the gate in 2018, and he produced a modest .226 average over 147 games, adding eight home runs, 35 RBI, and 10 stolen bases. It wasn't a terrible performance for a 24-year-old thrown into the fire, especially considering that most of his playing time came at the unfamiliar shortstop position instead of his regular second base spot.
Things got even crazier in 2019, as Kingery appeared in 65 games in center field, 41 games at third base, 18 games at shortstop, and a few smattered innings at second base and left field. But Kingery persevered through all the volatility, posting a .258 mark, 19 home runs, 55 RBI, and 15 steals. It was legitimately promising, although you kind of wished that the team would just pick one spot in the field for him and let him be so he could focus on improvements at the plate. Then, 2020 happened.
Kingery had a nasty bout with COVID that took him away from the team for a long stretch of time, and he battled injuries as well, ultimately appearing in just 36 games during that miserable 60-game campaign. Kingery never recovered after that. He played in just 15 games in 2021, batting .053, and he was banished to the minors. 2022 saw him appear for one inning of one game in the field for the Phillies.
Kingery's major league contract with the Phillies officially ended in November 2023 when they declined his 2024 option, reverting his contract back to his original minor league deal. It was not a tough decision.
The whole situation was severely bungled from top to bottom, but ultimately Kingery just didn't end up being the kind of player that the club was betting on. It's a bummer to end this list with a wound so fresh, but that's just the cycle of these things.