Written by: Zach Volland (@NotBrianKenny)
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In the ever-changing circus of baseball, I present to you Scott Kingery! The little man plays with an absolute fire and plays the game hard! If you’ve had any chance to watch any of his film, please do yourself a favor and enjoy it. Mr. Kingery is 23 years old, stands about 5’10 and weighs 180 lbs… Earl Weaver would have called him a “FLEA RUNNIN’ AROUND THE BASE PATHS!”. Kingery may be on the smaller side, but, he has the ability to hit for power…not 40 home run power, but in the boom box of Citizens Bank Ballpark, he can definitely meet 15-20 home run expectations. Moreover, Kingery has done well rising through the minor league system, posting solid power output at each stop along the way. Let’s dive into some data and break him down so we can better understand what he’ll be capable of in the big leagues.
Swing: Power: 50-55 / Hit Tool: 50-60
Kingery possesses a decent amount of power for being a little guy (FanGraphs grades him at 50 power, I think thats a fair assessment). He has a short compact stroke with some loft to his swing. He his a leg kick as a timing mechanism to get his body moving, and he lands soft on his front side. Kingery has a very subtle hand-load that is pretty standard across the board with most advanced hitters (the load really gets his hands over his back-foot to create as much bat lag as possible). Moving forward, Kingery does a great job rotating and firing his hips to really get his bat in a good stacked position to barrel up any pitch. Overall, there’s a lot to like in his swing. Nothing really stands out as “alarming”. Like most prospects that aren’t Mike Trout or Bryce Harper, I’d expect Kingery to hit for a decent average early-on with some decent pop. The league will find something to exploit, so hopefully the young man can adjust back to the league when that time comes. Statistically speaking, Kingery’s main flaw is the near nonexistent walk rate. Simply put, he needs to see more pitches. Across two levels last season, he had a 109:41 K/BB ratio. That second number needs to increase. He slashed .304/.359/.530 with 26 home runs, 65 RBIs, and 29 SBs in 543 at-bats, so there’s obviously a ton to like with Kingery’s statistical profile despite the low walk rate.
Wheels: Speed: 70
Scott Kingery can straight up fly. Out of the box, he’s like a jackrabbit. I’ve seen him timed at around 3.8 home to first, which is pretty freakin’ quick for a right handed batter. The 59 SBs across three levels the past two seasons combined is what I’m most intrigued by. The man has been able to swipe bags rather effortlessly at any level (he’s only been caught 12 times the past two seasons). From a fantasy standpoint, I love players who love to run. I’ve always been a proponent for putting pressure on a defense, and with a guy like Kingery doing it so successfully, I don’t mind the unnecessary risk of “giving up an out”. If he continues to develop his reads and continues to take great jumps, his stolen base numbers could reach 30 per season with relative ease at the big league level.
Glove: Fielding: 65
I love watching Kingery flash his leather on the diamond. He has great lateral range for a second baseman (to some, second basemen are slow-footed shortstops). I think Kingery could also play shortstop and third base even though his arm strength has been rated relatively low. Kingery’s ridiculous range should be the most intriguing aspect of his defensive profile for those evaluating him in the non-fantasy realm; if he can get within diving range of a groundball, he’ll find a way to field it. His transfers are super clean and he rarely makes bad throws. I know the Phillies are wanting to utilize his defensive versatility in order to keep his bat in their starting lineup, but I think they’d be best served to find an infield spot for the 23-year-old on an everyday basis.
I think Scott Kingery will be a very good major league infielder. I think he’s going to run into some streakiness early on in his career, but he’ll eventually figure the league out and be a mainstay in the Phillies’ lineup. Kingery has a challenging comp to Dustin Pedroia (which is a HUGE comp), but I think it’s doable if the game-power remains and he stays healthy. The Phillies have a very interesting, young lineup and I think Kingery could hit leadoff in the future (though he’ll likely hit lower in the lineup to start the season before eventually moving to the top of the order). Moving forward, I think Kingery deserves some serious major league playing time even though Cesar Hernandez has been a very valuable player for the Phillies (Kingery will likely be utilized as a super utility guy anyways). Hopefully, Kingery’s recent extension gives him a bid into the starting lineup, but only time will tell.
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