For former Philadelphia Phillies’ prospect Scott Kingery, he could probably describe his baseball career so far as both a “fantasy come true” and an “unforgettable nightmare” at the same time. Back in 2015, Kingery was the Phillies second round draft pick out of the University of Arizona. With loads of potential, he rose to become the organization’s top positional prospect by 2018, along with cracking the top 40 Top Prospects in all of MLB. The Phillies believed in him so much that he was even given a six-year, $24 million contract without having even played a single inning at the major league level.
At the beginning, it appeared as though the Phillies’ hunch was on the money, as Kingery had a solid debut season back in 2018, in which he followed it up with a strong 2019 season, where he hit .258, with an OPS of .788, 64 runs scored, 34 doubles, four triples, 19 home runs, 55 RBI, 15 stolen bases, 34 walks and 147 strikeouts as he happily stuffed the stat sheets. However, that was as far as the fairytale would go, as 2020 marked the year where he began his downfall.
After some struggles with his battle against the COVID-19 illness in 2020, along with a season-ending shoulder injury in 2021, Kingery was not able to regain his prior form and has been stuck in the minors for the majority of the past three years. Things may have been tough for him, but he hasn’t given up yet on his major league career.
Fast forward to 2023 now, Kingery had a strong Spring Training in which he hit .340 with 11 runs scored, one home run, four RBI, and two stolen bases in 47 at-bats. But it wasn’t enough to make the Phillies’ Opening Day roster. But Kingery is focussed on working hard in his comeback trail, after what he went through both physically and mentally the previous few years, building on his confidence and perseverance he had developed over time now that he is at a more mature stage in his life.
So far this season at Triple-A, Kingery has been making great progress in the right direction, as in 68 games, he has impressed, hitting.278, with an OPS of .809, with 44 runs scored, 11 doubles, two triples, nine home runs, 24 RBI, and an 18-for-18 in stolen bases. At least he has been able to do this on a more consistent basis now.
Not only that, but Kingery has been deployed in multiple fielding positions, most likely preparing him to have more flexibility when potentially returning to the majors. With the Phillies’ roster in flux with Rhys Hoskins done for the season, along with the struggling production of part-time players such as Josh Harrison and Kody Clemens, maybe, just maybe Kingery may be inching towards a potential return to the Phillies’ big league roster sooner than later before the end of the season. Hopefully, his unforgettable nightmare is about to end and a new fairytale journey is about to begin once again for the once-promising prospect.