It won't be long until Scott Kingery will be able to waltz into Phillies' Major League Spring Training camp in Clearwater, Florida without worry. For now, he still needs an invitation.MLB.com's No. 50 overall prospect was one of eight Minor Leaguers to receive non-roster invitations to Phillies camp on Wednesday,
It won't be long until Scott Kingery will be able to waltz into Phillies' Major League Spring Training camp in Clearwater, Florida without worry. For now, he still needs an invitation.
MLB.com's No. 50 overall prospect was one of eight Minor Leaguers to receive non-roster invitations to Phillies camp on Wednesday, the team announced. Right-handers Enyel De Los Santos and Tom Eshelman, who check in at No. 9 and No. 22 on the system's list, were the other ranked prospects to receive official invites.
Kingery is coming off a breakout 2017 season that saw him named a Futures Game participant, a Minor League Gold Glove winner and a MiLB.com Organization All-Star. The 23-year-old second baseman hit .309/.359/.530 with 26 homers and 29 stolen bases in 132 games split between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. His power surge was especially notable -- the 2015 second-rounder hit just five homers in 131 games during his first full Minor League campaign in 2016.
With his impressive glove and plus speed, Kingery is expected to join Philadelphia at some point in 2018, following the path of former teammates J.P. Crawford and Rhys Hoskins. César Hernández's place at the keystone in Philly could complicate matters, but Kingery did spend some time at shortstop and third base last season.
De Los Santos will also head to Phillies' camp in his first spring with the organization. The 22-year-old right-hander came over in a one-for-one swap with the Padres in December that sent shortstop Freddy Galvis the other way and cleared room for Crawford. De Los Santos has earned solid grades for his fastball and changeup and posted a 3.78 ERA with 138 strikeouts and 48 walks in 150 innings last season at Double-A San Antonio.
Eshelman joined Kingery as a Phillies Org All-Star in 2017. After starting out the season with five starts at Reading, the 23-year-old right-hander was especially dominant over 18 outings with Lehigh Valley. His 2.23 ERA over 121 innings there ranked second in the International League while his 0.94 WHIP led the circuit. A former Astros prospect who came over in the Ken Giles deal, Eshelman has excellent command and led all Triple-A pitchers with a 2.8 percent walk rate in 2017.
Catcher Edgar Cabral, right-hander J.D. Hammer, left-handers Cole Irvin and Brandon Leibrandt and outfielder Andrew Pullin were the other six to receive Major League invites on Wednesday.
Pitchers and catchers report to Phillies camp on Feb. 14 with position players arriving five days later.
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.