Saturday, November 5, 2016

Phillies Prospect Scott Kingery Heating Up in the Arizona Fall League

The Philadelphia Phillies’ top second base prospect is playing in the Arizona Fall League and is heating up after a slow start.

The Philadelphia Phillies have been considering their future at the Keystone position ever since the greatest player in franchise history at the position began to decline in recent years. 
That player, Chase Utley, was the starter at second base for the better part of a dozen seasons from 2004-15, providing All-Star caliber production for the majority of that time.
In the wake of Utley’s trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August of 2015, Cesar Hernandez took over at the position. 
Hernandez provided a solid batting average and some speed in the Phillies lineup, but he is an inconsistent player who is prone to maddening mistakes.
In the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft, the Phillies selected Scott Kingery out of the University of Arizona with their second round selection, the 48th player chosen overall. 
Kingery has hit for a .271/.328/.372 slash line with eight homers, 58 extra-base hits, 67 RBI, 119 runs scored, and 41 stolen bases in 49 attempts during his first two minor league seasons.

Kingery was sent to the Arizona Fall League this year for the first time. Playing there with the Phillies contingent assigned to the Scottsdale Scorpions, he got off to a very slow start.
However, the now 22-year-old Kingery has picked it up over the last 10 games for the Scorpions by hitting for a .324/.381.459 slash line over his last 37 at-bats.
Kingery is the lone Phillies player selected for the league’s Fall Stars Game, which takes place tonight in Scottsdale. The game will be broadcast beginning at 8:00 PM at MLB.com and on the MLB Network.
In early August, his manager at AA Reading, Dusty Wathan, was asked about Kingery by CSNPhilly’s Andrew Kulp:
“He’s an exciting player. A lot of energy, runs well, really good range at second base, good arm, turns a good double play, has been a nice bat to put in the top of our lineup. It’s exciting that a guy can get here as quick as he has from last year’s draft. He’s got a bright a future. I like to watch him.”
Kingery now ranks as the Phillies’ #13 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, which comments on his future as follows:
“Kingery is the type of advanced college bat who might not take that much time to be big league ready. Imagining a middle infield of top prospect J.P. Crawford and Kingery at Citizens Bank Park in the future is not far-fetched.”
Kingery should begin the 2017 season back at Reading. With normal progression he will move on to AAA Lehigh Valley at some point next summer, and could push for a cameo with the Phillies by September.
“My goal is just to reach base any way I can,” Kingery said per Kulp. “If that’s a hit, a walk, a hit by pitch or an error, I’m just trying to get on base and get myself into scoring position, then let the middle of the order drive me in.”
The Phillies and their fans hope that by no later than the start of the 2018 season, Kingery is getting into scoring position in front of the middle of the order at Citizens Bank Park as the true heir apparent to Utley.

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