Only three short seasons ago, Scott Kingery was a junior second baseman for the Arizona Wildcats dazzling the Hi Corbett Field crowd on his way to a Pac-12 Player of the Year award.
He batted .392 capping a meteoric rise at Arizona after he joined the program as a walk-on from Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix in 2013, a year after the Wildcats won the College World Series title. After the 2015 season, Kingery was drafted in the second round by the Philadelphia Phillies.
On Monday, Kingery blasted his first home run in the big leagues for the Phillies, who signed him last month to a six-year deal worth $24 million through 2023, the largest guarantee in history for a player yet to play his first major-league game.
Kingery, replacing struggling shortstop J.P. Crawford in the lineup, hit the home run in the second inning against Cincinnati’s Cody Reed in a 6-5 win in the Phillies’ home opener. The 23-year-old utilityman has a .259 average in nine games, six of which have been starts at five different positions.
Scott Kingery says Phillies negotiations with fan who caught his first MLB HR ⚾️ were “tough” 😂😂
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) April 10, 2018
Kingery hit a 1-0 fastball a little less than 15 inches (1.22 feet) off the ground. According to Philadelphia, no Phillies player had hit a ball lower off the ground since Odubel Herrera hit one less than 9 inches (0.73 feet) from the dirt last August.
The ball left Kingery’s bat tonight at 107.3 mph.
More good news for Kingery: He was credited today with a steal from March 30 on a play originally ruled a wild pitch. The change joins Kingery with Jimmy Rollins as the only Phillies players since 1900 to have multiple hits and a steal in their major-league debut.
Kingery entered the game tonight with three multi-hit games this season, tied for the most of any rookie in baseball.