Scott Kingery was supposed to begin the year in Triple-A. He has yet to have an at-bat in a major league game so he was going in the later rounds of many Fantasy baseball drafts. Based on what the Phillies did Sunday, it makes sense why so many players were excited.
The Phillies signed Kingery to a six-year, $24 million contract. It is the largest contract ever for a player that hasn’t played one day in the majors. There are club options from 2024 through 2026 that could increase the contract to $65 million.
Kingery will open the season in the majors, too. This wasn’t expected, so his price is going to increase for those with drafts remaining. How much and where will he play is the big question? The Phillies have Maikel Franco at third base, J.P. Crawford at shortstop and Cesar Hernandez at second base. In the outfield are Rhys Hoskins, Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr.
The Phillies aren’t keeping Kingery are on the roster to sit and if he hits when given playing time, it’s going to hurt someone if a trade isn’t made. Franco hasn’t hit for average this spring, but has hit a few home runs the last few games and has made some changes in his stance. Crawford has a good glove and Hernandez has been a good lead off hitter with on-base skills. Kingery hasn’t played much outfield and is a second baseman, but if he can handle the outfield he could join Herrera and Hoskins.
Manager Gabe Kapler said Kingery will play several different positions. Kingery played in Double-A and Triple-A last season, with a line of .304/.359/.530 with 26 home runs and 29 stolen bases. He has been one of the best Phillies hitters in the spring with a .392 average, four home runs, four stolen bases and a 1.141 OPS.
In the minors last season, Kingery played 113 games at second base, four games at third and two at shortstop. He is 23 years old and was a second round pick in 2015. Those who follow the Phillies believe Kingery will be a super utility player who gets multiple starts a week. If Kingery hits, he will play. There was some concern with Cody Bellinger when he came up last season. At first, it was a temporary promotion. He hit and never went down and was one of the best players in Fantasy.
In most drafts, he is already owned. In a 15-team auction league with several industry people, I took Kingery in the reserve rounds after the auction. If he’s on your waiver wire, it’s going to take 15-20 percent of your FAAB budget and possibly more depending on how aggressive your league is. If you have no FAAB, add him now. There’s always risk it doesn’t work, but all he has done is hit and based on the Phillies’ moves, they believe in him. Getting someone that could play all year long right at the start of the season is more valuable than someone you add in July.