Scott Kingery will make the Phillies Opening Day roster. (Frank Klose/SportsTalkPhilly)
Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said earlier this Spring Training that he was "absolutely enthused" by Scott Kingery, the organization's top position prospect. Apparently, he was so enthused that Kingery will open the 2018 season at the major league level with his years of team control bought out.
NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury, The Athletic's Matt Gelb and MLB.com's Todd Zolecki are among those to report that Kingery, a former second-round pick, has made the Phillies Opening Day roster. Gelb noted that Kapler pushed for Kingery to make the roster, with the hope of using him in a "hybrid role."
Kingery, per Gelb, has agreed to a six-year deal, which also includes three additional club option years:
Scott Kingery has signed a six-year contract. There are club options for his first three free-agent years —2024, 2025 and 2026.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) March 25, 2018
General manager Matt Klentak appeared on the telecast of this afternoon's Phillies-Baltimore Orioles matchup, and said this to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Gregg Murphy:
"Scott Kingery has done everything right this spring, to the point where he is forcing our hand. He has been absolutely incredible. I'm not quite in a position to say anything right here, but Phillies fans should stay tuned the rest of the day because there might be some news coming on that front."
The 23-year-old has hit .392 with four home runs, seven RBIs and four stolen bases this spring.
It's not immedaitely clear what Kingery making the roster means to Roman Quinn, Jesmuel Valentin and those competing for roster spots. Kingery needs to be added to the club's 40-man roster still. With Cesar Hernandez, J.P. Crawford and Maikel Franco in the infield, along with four outfielders capable of starting, it's also unclear what position Kingery will get the bulk of his at-bats at.
What is clear is that Kingery is going to open the season at the major league level. And, in the process, the Phillies appear to have signed him to a very team-friendly contract.