Scott Kingery forced his way onto the Philadelphia Phillies roster with a great spring training, and now he is getting regular playing time with no true position.
The Philadelphia Phillies are in the middle of a rebuild, and now more than ever the starting lineup is filled with players trying to make a name for themselves. With J.P. Crawford getting the call up to become the starting shortstop, there are no spots left in the lineup for Scott Kingery, and yet he still finds ways to get his name on the lineup card more often than not.
Being used right now in more of a super utility role, Kingery can be plugged in at basically every position besides pitcher and catcher. As a result of this ability, Kingery has become a threat to take playing time from anyone not at the top of their game, so everyone is on notice.
One of the biggest surprises of the year so far, the Phillies are playing top tier baseball, thanks in much part to a combination of youth and veteran leadership. Gabe Kapler may have rubbed some the wrong way to start the year (myself included), but he has shown the ability to learn from his mistakes while sticking to his guns by starting the most deserving players.
No one is exempt from sitting the bench for bad play. The sudden switch to have almost too many good players is a welcome one for a fan base that has had to struggle through several below average years.
With the emergence of Kingery, the rest of the infield needs to step up their game in order to keep their spot. Maikel Franco has seen an up and down career so far with the Phillies, Cesar Hernandez has had his name brought up several times in trade rumors, and even Crawford is new to the fold. None of these players are too big to get rid of in order for Kingery to become an everyday player. It is still to be seen whether or not the Phillies make a move to eventually free up a spot, but for now having Kingery wait in the wings is working.
There’s no question that Kingery is the second baseman of the future in Philadelphia, but for right now, he is better suited at learning the game in a role in which his talents can be used everywhere. Competition within the team brings out the best in everyone, and the best production usually comes of it. Kingery will eventually get his shot as a starter, but for now he is filling another vital role as the motivator for everyone else on the Phillies.