July 10, 2017
By: Doug Heater
With the promotion last week(as of this writing) of Scott Kingery, many fans wondered, why now? IronPigs manager Dusty Wathan told us last Monday(June 26) that it just worked out well with both Reading and Lehigh Valley playing at home. That might just have been a coincidence. Either way, he deserved the promotion, and has really made their decision pay off.
There are a few players that have come up through the system since my time covering the IronPigs began, that you knew right away, that their stay in Lehigh Valley probably wouldn’t be that long. Aaron Nola, Aaron Altherr, and Maikel Franco are names that come to mind off the top of my head. Add to that Rhys Hoskins, which has been discussed in a prior blog, and now Scott Kingery.
This is a player that has a work ethic that can only be matched on this team by Hoskins, and has a talent that doesn’t come around too often. Kingery has downplayed his power surge on two different occasions to me this season, but has equated his homerun numbers to an offseason weight training program, and a level swing that seems to have added some loft to it this year.
Regardless of his 4 homeruns in Lehigh Valley, and his 18 in Reading, Kingery’s game goes far beyond the typical long ball type player. The ability to wreak havoc on a defense from the leadoff spot with his hitting, a great strike zone discipline which has led to multiple walks this season, then add to that a true stolen base threat, you have a dynamic offensive player that is fun to watch.
Defensively, he makes the hard plays look easy, and the easy plays look routine. He dazzled Pigs fans in his first 8 games, including a ranging, diving catch behind second base in his second game with Lehigh Valley, which may end up being the top play of the entire season. The talent to turn the double play has looked as smooth as you can imagine with fellow teammate J.P. Crawford at short.
What tops off my list of “total player” requirements, is his work ethic on game day. Early work in the cage, early work on the field, and even most recently during the last IronPigs homestand, taking grounders at third base, just in case he is needed. Kingery is a great player, and will be a consistent everyday major league player, when the time is right. That is the next question to be asked if you’re the Phillies.