Kingery, 22, played second base and hit seventh Thursday in a 6-0 victory (in seven innings) against the University of Tampa at Spectrum Field, the Phillies' final tune-up before they play the Yankees in Friday's Grapefruit League opener in Tampa, Fla. Kingery, who is the No. 7 second-base prospect in baseball, according to MLBPipeline.com, impressed defensively. He also went 1-for-3.
"Kingery looked good at second," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "He made a play to his left and a play to his right and turned a nice double play. I really like his fielding mechanics."
A little more than five years ago, Kingery sent emails to a few Division I college coaches, looking for an opportunity to play. He had made a commitment with Central Arizona College, a junior college, but he believed he had Division I talent.
"Come see me play this summer," he asked.
The University of Arizona did and liked what it saw. Kingery got a call a couple weeks before classes started there in the fall of 2012. He had a spot as a preferred walk-on.
Kingery ultimately made the team and played his freshman and sophomore seasons in the outfield. He then moved to second base as a junior, and the Phillies selected him in the second round of the 2015 Draft.
Kingery thinks the move to second might have helped him in the Draft, too.
"I think [second base] is more of a position that I can see myself at in the Major Leagues," Kingery said. "You see big home run hitters in the outfield. Not so much center field, center field has quick guys, but I think coming into second base, it's my natural position. It just lets me show off what I have."
Kingery projects as a top-of-the-lineup hitter with speed. Don't forget about that defense, either.
"That's something I take pride in," Kingery said.
Kingery is expected to open the season in Double-A Reading, where he finished 2016. But certainly expectations are high. It is easy to see him roaming second base for the Phillies in the not-so-distant future, although Cesar Hernandez hopes to turn himself into a National League All-Star this year and Triple-A second baseman Jesmuel Valentin is considered a prospect himself.
But Kingery has faith in himself. If he hadn't, he wouldn't be here.
"It's crazy to think about," he said.