The Reason Phillies Part Ways with Former Top Prospect Despite a Promising Start

The Philadelphia Phillies have officially severed ties with their former top prospect, Scott Kingery, as the MLB offseason kicks into gear following the conclusion of the World Series. The team announced on Friday that they will not exercise the $13 million club option for Kingery in 2024, opting instead for a $1 million buyout, which will make him a free agent. Kingery’s tenure in Philadelphia, which had begun with great promise, has come to a disappointing conclusion.

He was originally selected by the Phillies in the second round of the 2015 MLB Draft and rapidly ascended through the minor leagues, establishing himself as one of the most highly regarded prospects in baseball. In 2018, he was ranked as the top prospect at second base by MLB Pipeline. Before even making his MLB debut, Kingery signed a lucrative six-year, $24 million extension.

He made his major league debut in 2018 and, despite initial struggles with a .605 OPS, he had a much improved sophomore season in 2019. That year, he displayed remarkable versatility, hitting 19 home runs, stealing 15 bases, and achieving a .788 OPS while playing six different positions, earning a 2.5 WAR.

However, this marked the high point of Kingery’s time with the Phillies. Injuries and declining performance prevented him from replicating his early success in the subsequent years.

His playing time steadily dwindled, from 36 games in 2020 to 15 in 2021, and just one appearance in 2022 (with none in 2023). He struggled at the plate, with a batting average of .144, an on-base percentage of .204, and a slugging percentage of .250, accompanied by 47 strikeouts, more than double the number of hits (19).

After spending most of the past three years in Triple-A attempting to regain his form, Philadelphia has now decided to part ways with him. Kingery is set to turn 30 in the spring, and given his limited play in recent years, it seems unlikely that he will have a significant impact at the MLB level again. The Phillies had shown considerable patience with Kingery in the past few seasons, but their patience has finally worn thin as they made this decision on Friday.

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