2020 Season Preview

Phillies Nation 2020 Season Preview: Scott Kingery


2019 Stat Line: 126 G, 500 PA, 19 HR, 55 RBI, .258/.315/.474, 100+ OPS, 2.7 fWAR

2019 Season in Review

Scott Kingery had a disappointing rookie season in 2018, but through the 2019 season demonstrated a steady improvement. Although he was inconsistent until the end of May — partially due to a hamstring injury — he became a valued fielder who could fill the holes in the Phillies’ injury-plagued squad. 

Scott Kingery is entering his third season in the majors. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Anyone can see Kingery’s improvement at the plate in his stats. Despite playing 21 fewer games, 147 games in 2018 compared to 126 in 2019, he improved in almost every category. He had better at-bats, more power and a better eye, which he showed off in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 10. In a 7-3 win against the Diamondbacks, Kingery went 3-for-5 at the plate with two solo home runs.

Even though Kingery has shown improvement, he still posted average numbers at-best and there is still a long way to go. He had a 29.4 strikeout percentage which was the fifth-highest amongst players who logged 500 or more plate appearances. 

Being sub-par at the plate did not detract from the value he held on the field. In 2019 alone Kingery played six different positions for the Phillies —primarily playing at third base, center field and shortstop, and filling in at second base, right field and left field. His status as a super-utility player could secure his spot on the Phillies roster for years. 

2020 Season Preview

With the return of left fielder Andrew McCutchen and the acquisition of shortstop Didi Gregorious, Kingery will likely find his home at second base, his natural position. Manager Joe Girardi has expressed a desire to have Kingery stick to one defensive position throughout the season. Girardi believes that if he can stick with one position, he might be able to focus more on improving his batting than adjusting to where he is playing on the field. 

“There are days where you can tell a player, ‘Don’t take so many ground balls, just take some BP.’ But playing short one day and second one day and third one day and center one day, you have to work on your defense all the time,” Girardi said to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Breen during spring training. “It should be better for him.”

Kingery himself spoke with Phillies color commentator Kevin Frandsen during the pause in play on the challenges of playing multiple positions.

“It’s unbelievable,” Kingery said. “I don’t know if people realize the effect that playing all over has on you. Not just physically, [but] as much as it is a mental thing.”

If there is baseball in 2020 and the Phillies stick to their plan of keeping their super-utility man at one position, it will be interesting to see whether or not Kingery’s production at the plate improves considerably. He has already established himself as one of the team’s most valuable defenders but he still has much to prove offensively.

Expectations for Kingery were incredibly high before he took the field for his first major league game as the team’s No. 2 overall prospect. Those expectations have not tempered down a bit after two full seasons in the major leagues. We’ve stressed often that consistency is key for many Phillies players in 2020 and this is especially true for a player like Kingery who is tasked with proving he can produce consistently at the plate in 2020.

Check out our previous 2020 Season Previews

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