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2021 report card: Scott Kingery

Has Scotty Jetpax played his last game in Philadelphia?

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Toronto Blue Jays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This is supposed to be a retrospective of Scott Kingery’s season, but truthfully, there isn’t that much season to look back on. In 15 games, Kingery came to the plate just 19 times and got on base just once. By mid-season, he had been replaced on the Phillies’ depth chart by Nick Maton and Luke Williams.

That being the case, any thoughts we could have about his season are, more accurately, thoughts about the expectations for his season. With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some things I’ve written about Kingery over the past two seasons. Feel free to skip the next section if these are too painful for you to read.

July 28, 2020 – Who could be the Phillies’ best player in a 60-game season?

We know Scotty is an incredible second basemen. We know he can hit like an all-star over a two-month stretch. And now, finally, he has an official starting job at his best position. This year could be big for him. Plus, the pressure is really on. Alec Bohm could get the call up to the big league team any day now, and while Kingery’s versatility will help him get everyday at bats, he needs to play well to stay in the lineup, and extra well to stay at second base. If Jean Segura is hitting better than Kingery when Bohm gets called up, Scotty could once again lose his position. Will that pressure motivate him to new heights in 2020? Only time will tell, but I’d love to see it happen.”

October 15, 2020 – What happens if the Phillies re-sign Didi Gregorius?

“If the Phillies can trade Segura, though, it may be the “best of both worlds” option. This way, the Phillies get to keep Didi Gregorius, their best middle infielder from 2020, but they also get to give Kingery a real chance to prove himself. On the other hand, if Kingery continues to play as badly as he did in 2020, this option could be disastrous for the Phillies.”

January 26, 2021 – Scott Kingery Will Break out for the Phillies in 2021

“Kingery will come into the 2021 season healthy and well-rested. He has another season’s worth of experience playing multiple positions, so he should be more comfortable no matter where the Phillies play him on the diamond. While he’s no longer a hotshot young prospect, he’s still only 26 years old. 2020 was a difficult year for everyone, and 60 games is already a small sample size. It would be hard to form an impression of any player after such a strange season. Scott Kingery had to deal with COVID-19 and was only able to play in 36 games in 2020. Therefore, it really doesn’t make sense to judge Kingery too harshly for his performance. The Scott Kingery we saw in 2019 is much more likely to be the Scott Kingery we see in 2021. And that Scott Kingery is exactly what the Phillies need.”

March 21, 2021 – 2021 Player Preview: Scott Kingery

“Scott Kingery has completely valid excuses for his poor performance in September 2019 [vision problems], all of 2020 [COVID-19], and now, Spring Training 2021 [spring numbers don’t matter]. The last time he played a normal, healthy season, he was an above-average super-utility player, and he can be that guy again. I’m not saying I’m confident about him going forward, but it is completely possible that Scott Kingery will play 120+ games and put up 2-3 WAR again this season.”

“If Kingery does continue to hit this poorly, there are two possible outcomes: he becomes a benchwarmer, playing only when Didi Gregorius or Jean Segura need time off, or he gets sent down to AAA. It’s hard to say which one would truly count as the “worst-case scenario” for Kingery. A demotion to the minors would be pretty drastic, and it would only happen if he was performing really poorly. On the other hand, it might actually be more helpful for Kingery to get regular at-bats in the minors than it would be for him to ride the bench. If Kingery gets sent down to AAA, it would show that the Phillies still believe he has room for growth.”

March 24, 2021 – 2021 Player Previews: Adam Haseley and Roman Quinn

“Scott Kingery is a mess.”

So, it turns out I was wrong about the worst-case scenario for Kingery. In June, he was designated for assignment. He then floundered in Triple-A for about a month before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if we never see Scott Kingery in a Phillies uniform again.

2021 stats

MLB: 15 G (2 starts), 19 PA, .053/.053/.053, -71 OPS+

Triple-A: 23 G, 88 PA, .181/.307/.292, 0 HR

The good

On April 29, Scott Kingery got a hit.

The bad

In the other 161 games of the Phillies season, Scott Kingery did not record a hit.

The future

Going forward, anything the Phillies can get out of Scott Kingery will be a blessing. If he gets back to the majors and serves as a competent utility infielder here and there? Amazing. If Dave Dombrowski can include him in a trade? Fantastic. If he reinvents himself as a pitcher and returns to the major leagues several years later as a reliever with a 100 MPH fastball à la his fellow former Phillies second-round draft pick Anthony Gose? Splendid.

But if he just fades into the distance, never to play another game at Citizens Bank Park ever again? I can’t say I’d be surprised.

Final grade: