Scott Kingery | 2B
The 21-year-old Kingery went undrafted out of Phoenix high school three years ago but has done nothing but hit at Arizona. He put up a .319/.413/.426 line with 16 doubles, seven triples, one homer, 50 walks, and 47 strikeouts in 95 games his freshman and sophomore years, and is hitting .467/.500/.715 with 12 doubles, five triples, four homers, eight walks, and ten strikeouts in 31 games this spring. He’s been in the mix for the NCAA batting title all season.
Kingery is a classic short, scrappy, middle infielder grinder. You know what I mean, right? He’s listed at 5-foot-11 and 175 lbs., and his offensive game is built on contact and using the entire field from the right side of the plate. Kingery has bat speed, top notch hand-eye coordination, and the innate ability to get the fat part of the bat on the ball. He knows the strike zone and still draws plenty of walks despite being able to put the ball in play seemingly at will. Kingery has little power but has the speed to be a threat on the bases (34 steals in 47 attempts in college) and the athleticism to play up the middle. He was a center fielder years ago but has settled in at second base, though his reflexes and arm strength have some thinking he could handle shortstop. (Kingery is playing second for the Wildcats in deference to shortstop Kevin Newman, a possible top ten pick.)
Keith Law (subs. req’d), MLB.com, and Baseball America ranked Kingery as the 25th, 36th, and 39th best prospect in the draft class in their latest rankings, respectively. My guess is he would be considered a slam dunk first rounder if he was two or three inches taller. Teams are still biased against short players. They show it every year. Kingery had success against top competition in the wood bat Cape Code League last summer (.312/.331/.416 in 33 games) and that’s something the Yankees have valued in the past. They pick 16th and 30th overall next month, and while Kingery would be a more appropriate pick at No. 30, he might come off the board much earlier as one of the top college hitters in a draft seemingly devoid of them.