Two prospects that could eventually lead the Phillies to a turnaround
The Philadelphia Phillies went through another miserable season, caught in a two-horse race with the San Francisco Giants for the dubious honor as the worst team in the National League.
They will be looking for a new manager but management believes there is light at the end of this journey through the dark tunnel that is the rebuilding process. Most of it was displayed in the big league level but there were also two treasured prospects that rose up the ladder to the height of their minor league system.
Judging by the first two year of his professional career, nobody thought former Arizona Wildcat Scott Kingery would turn into a power hitting leadoff hitter. Not even the Phillies — when they selected him in the second round of the 2015 MLB Draft — saw him hitting over 25 home runs in a single season.
He did just that this season. in 132 games split between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Kingery slashed .304/.359/.530 with 26 home runs, 68 RBI and 29 stolen bases. He led all of minor league baseball in home runs for much of the season and now there are comparisons between him and other power hitting leadoff hitters like Alfonso Soriano and Charlie Blackmon.
When Carlos Tocci first signed with the Phillies back in 2011, the farm system was rail thin and need him in full-seaspm ball quickly, despite being raw and without much in the way of physical strength. He spent parts of three seasons in Single-A Lakewood as a result but finally broke out in 2015, hitting .321 in 59 games. He capped a solid season in Single-A Clearwater by hitting .284 with a career high 50 RBI and then followed it up with a .323 batting average in the Venezuelan Winter League and finishing fifth in on-base percentage.
Tocci took it to another level this season with his third consecutive All-Star season by hitting .307 in his first season in Double-A Reading and finishing the season in Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Tocci has long shown an ability to make consistent contact to every part of the field. He has yet to strikeout 100 times in a single season and is always willing to draw a good walk. While Tocci lacks power, he makes up for it by being an excellent defender in center field.
Eventually both of these prospects will make up the top of the Phillies lineup. That may come at a time when the team is finally beginning to turn the corner towards playoff contention.
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