What started out as one of the most anticipated Phillies call-ups since Aaron Nola in 2015 has ended with a “best of luck” handshake and social media declination statement. The Scott Kingery era in Philadelphia is now officially over.
The Phillies’ King Has Been Dethroned
This action comes as no surprise with the World Series finished and the Phillies making preparations to be in a great spot for the beginning of next season. Looking back six years ago, you would’ve thought the $24 million deal given to Kingery was going to pay dividends but sadly it’s only resulted in wasted assets and a $13 million player option decline for 2024. Philadelphia’s official announcement on Twitter serves to highlight just how expected this move was.
Ironically though, Kingery still remains under the team’s control because his contract reverts back to the seven-year deal he signed upon getting drafted in 2015. Who would have thought a player that scouts compared to the likes of Dustin Pedroia accompanied with the fan-given nickname of “Scotty Jetpacks” would turn out to be nothing more than a draft bust? Such a proclamation would have sounded absurd back then but now everyone and their South Philly mother is in agreeance that Kingery’s time in the pros is done.
It’s honestly a shame that this is the way he goes out because the former second-round pick had a promising future ahead of him. His quick ascension through the minors helped propel him to be MLB Pipeline’s No. 1 prospect at second base in all of baseball and earned him a big league contract as well. He was also originally called up as a second baseman to fill the hole left by former Philly great, Chase Utley, but his versatility opened up more opportunities at five other positions within his rookie year.
At the 2019 All-Star break, Kingery posted a .292/.344/.545 batting line while adding 11 homers to his name. The problem started with his minor slump that turned major due to multiple surgeries on his shoulder and an uppercut swing that produced more walks back to the bench. Adding salt to the wound, the two-year nose dive resulted in a demotion to Triple-A in 2021 with a DFA soon after.
Where Does Kingery Go From Here
His quest to land a spot on the Phillies bench this Spring unfortunately went for nod as he was not added to the 40-man roster thus putting him behind the eight ball. The season he put together with Lehigh Valley ended with a slash line of .244/.325/.400 accompanied by 13 doubles and 17 stolen bases in 117 games played. He proved himself to be a decent resource to the minor league club but with the signing of Trea Turner and success from infielders Bryson Stott and Alec Bohm, there just wasn’t enough room for him in the pros.
Depending on what the Phillies decide to do with him, I’d imagine he finds himself a home with multiple teams such as Kansa City, Oakland, or Detroit due to their need for utility players. In 325 major league games, Kingery slashed .229/.280/.387 with 62 doubles, 30 homers, 96 RBIs, 25 stolen bases, and 320 strikeouts in 1,127 plate appearances.
Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire