Mackanin likes what he sees after 2B homers, makes dazzling defensive play
By Paul Hagen
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- It seems like every spring there's a prospect who grabs everybody's attention. So far this year in the Phillies camp, that guy has been second baseman Scott Kingery.
The 22-year-old made a highlight-reel quality defensive play in the sixth inning of Friday's 4-3 Grapefruit League loss to the Twins at Spectrum Field, robbing Ben Paulsen of a hit. In the bottom of the seventh, he hit a two-run homer. In the ninth, he singled with one out. Representing the tying run, he was stranded on third when the game ended.
"I can't say enough about Kingery, boy," manager Pete Mackanin said. "I really like what I see. He's a real good-looking young player. To be as composed as he is in his first big league camp after just getting a taste of Double-A, he really has made a great first impression."
Kingery is batting .500 this spring. Against the Orioles on Tuesday he homered, doubled and singled.
It's not exactly like the University of Arizona product came out of nowhere. He was the Phillies' second-round Draft choice in 2015 after being named the Pac-12 Player of the Year. He's ranked as the organization's No. 11 prospect by MLBPipeline.com.
Still, Kingery has played only 37 games as high as Double-A Reading and will probably be back there to start the season. But what he's done so far has opened some eyes.
"That's my main goal, to just go out there and play like I know how to and leave a good impression," he said. "Because I know I'm still probably going to go back to Double-A. I know the Phillies like to see you at every level. So I'm just trying to leave a good impression and have some fun out there.
"Just being here is surreal to me -- to be here on a big league field with big league guys."
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.