Philadelphia Phillies prospect Scott Kingery continues to draw rave reviews. (Brandon Apter/SportsTalkPhilly)
The 2017 Philadelphia Phillies are devoid of a single position player with a legitimate case to play in next month's All-Star Game in Miami. However, one anonymous league scout thinks that the team has a future perennial All-Star in the upper levels of their minor league system.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports did a piece assessing the Phillies' struggles in 2017 and the state of their rebuild. In the article, a "rival scout" compared Double-A second baseman Scott Kingery to a former MVP:
Triple-A first baseman Rhys Hoskins, 24, and Double-A second baseman Scott Kingery, 23, are perhaps the surest things in the Phillies’ estimation; one rival scout pays Kingery the highest compliment, calling him a “Pedroia type.”
This scout isn't the first person to make this comparison, but that it comes from someone without a vested interest in the Phillies doing well -- in fact, he/she probably has the opposite -- is worth noting.
Kingery, who MLB Pipeline ranked as the team's No. 11 prospect at the beginning of the season, was only with the Phillies for a brief time this past Spring Training, but he left a very good impression. The 2015 second-round pick hit .286 with two home runs, three RBIs and four walks in just 21 at-bats. He also displayed strong fielding potential.
With Cesar Hernandez coming off of a strong second half of 2016 and Jesmuel Valentin seemingly close to ready to play some role at the major league level, Kingery was sent to Double-A to open the season. The 23-year-old, who had just 13 career minor league home runs entering 2017, has exploded at hitter-friendly FirstEnergy Stadium. He has 18 home runs, with 40 RBIs and a .597 slugging-percentage in just over 300 at-bats. That adds to his strong fielding, the 19 stolen bases that he has and a .302 batting average.
Phillies Rumors: Club may try Scott Kingery at other positions
Given how disappointing the Phillies lineup has been in 2017 and the fact that both Valentin and Hernandez are currently out for extended periods of time, it's not exactly clear why the Phillies haven't promoted Kingery. Perhaps they would like to wait until 2018 for him to make his major league debut, but it's nearly impossible to make a case for why he shouldn't be promoted to the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Nonetheless, the fact that a rival scout is seemingly as high on Kingery as Phillies fans are is a good sign. Whether it is at second base or another position, Kingery figures to be playing for a Phillies a year from now, hopefully on a team that's performing better than the current version.