As baseball's offseason takes shape, we will take a look at each player on the Phillies 2020 roster and where they fit in the future. We'll go through the roster by uniform number, lowest to highest for position players, highest to lowest for pitchers, and alternate daily.
Today: Infielder Scott Kingery
The Phillies rolled the dice on Kingery being a star when they signed him to a six-year, $24-million contract before he ever played a game in the majors. He is just 26 and there’s still time for him to put it all together, but so far, he has not given the Phils the payoff they envisioned when they locked him up. His first 1,023 at-bats in the majors have produced a batting average of .233, an on-base percentage of .284 and a slugging percentage of .393. Kingery has struck out in 28 percent of his at-bats and he’s walked just 6 percent of the time.
How he became a Phillie
The Phillies selected the former PAC-12 batting champion from the University of Arizona in the second round of the 2015 draft.
It was a trying year for Kingery.
After bouncing around the diamond and showing off his versatility for two seasons, he arrived in spring training comfortable in the thought that he’d be playing second base, his best and natural position.
Everything changed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Camp shut down in mid-March and Kingery returned home to Arizona to continue his workouts. In mid-June, he contracted COVID-19 and battled the aftereffects of the illness (fatigue, shortness of breath) for weeks. He also was plagued by nagging shoulder and back injuries and ended up on the injured list.
Kingery got off to a slow start at the plate and eventually moved back into a utility role when the Phillies, in need of more offense, called up third baseman Alec Bohm which in turn pushed Jean Segura to second base.
Kingery ended up hitting just .159 in a shortened season in which he was probably never 100 percent healthy.
What lies ahead
Where Kingery plays next year probably depends on what the Phillies do at shortstop. If they re-sign free agent Didi Gregorius or bring in somebody else from the outside, Segura, who is signed for two more years at $30 million, will probably have to play second, putting Kingery back in a super-utility role.
With his ability to play outfield and infield, Kingery can force himself into the lineup somewhere if he can rediscover the line drive stroke he showed in college and the minors, cut down on the strikeouts and get on base more. There’s still time for him to put it all together.