The 2020 regular season is scheduled to begin in late July, which means it’s finally time to talk some baseball! To prepare you for the season, Phillies Nation will be taking an in-depth look at all of your favorite players. Here’s a review of Scott Kingery’s 2019 season as well as what to expect from the Phillies second baseman in 2020.
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.
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 subpar 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
In this 60-game season, there are multiple factors at play that could affect the position Kingery plays this year. After being sidelined for nearly a month after testing positive for COVID-19, it was unclear whether or not Kingery would even be in the starting lineup for Opening Day.
After two negative COVID-19 tests, he rejoined the Phillies on July 11. Despite still experiencing some shortness of breath, Kingery believes that he is in baseball shape and ready for the season to begin. However, the Phillies are using the preseason camp to test Kingery and see if he really is ready to return. If he can prove his fitness in camp, he will likely start on Opening Day.
Before the season was delayed, many thought that Kingery would end up at second base, his natural position, because of the acquisition of shortstop Didi Gregorius, which in turn moved Jean Segura to third base. Manager Joe Girardi had expressed a desire to have Kingery stick to one defensive position throughout the season, but the shortened season could ruin Girardi’s hopes, especially if key players have to quarantine or go down with injuries. Right now, the plan is to keep Kingery at second base.
The Phillies had also been planning to call up 23-year-old third baseman Alec Bohm at some point during the summer. With only 60 games in the season, that timeline for his move to the majors might be sped up. Bohm could be on the Opening Day roster or called up earlier if he is their best option offensively for the Phillies.
In a 60 game season, every game carries a lot of weight to it. There is no room for anyone to hit a slump and plenty of opportunity for players who are hitting their stride to enter the spotlight. If Kingery shows improvement in his at-bats during camp and can keep that momentum throughout the season, then he will probably be able to secure his starting position at second.
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
- Héctor Neris
- Zach Eflin
- Adam Morgan
- Jean Segura
- Aaron Nola
- Rhys Hoskins
- Zack Wheeler
- Didi Gregorius
- Nick Pivetta
- Adam Haseley
- Andrew McCutchen
- Vince Velasquez
- Roman Quinn
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