9. Scott Kingery
The future is finally now for the Philadelphia Phillies — at shortstop, anyway. Freddy Galvis was traded in December to clear the way for top prospect J.P. Crawford. Second base is the next position that needs to be cleared for an exciting up-and-comer with Cesar Hernandez blocking the way for Scott Kingery.
Hernandez is a light-hitting infielder who plays solid defense and runs well. There is a place for him in the big leagues, but not as a starter on a playoff-contending team, which is what the Phillies hope to be as early as this year.
Kingery was drafted in the second round in 2015 out of the University of Arizona and has done nothing but hit in the minor leagues. In his three years as a pro, the 23-year-old has hit .284/.341/.437. Kingery broke out last season for 26 total home runs between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley with a .889 OPS. As a college draftee, he does not have much growth left in the minors and looks ready for the big leagues.
The Phillies are overflowing with young talent all over the diamond, and Kingery has the tools to play Chase Utley to Crawford’s Jimmy Rollins in this next run of championship contenders in Philly.