The day before the MLB draft in 2015, Scott Kingery reflected on his journey from high school all-American to Arizona Wildcats walk-on to one of the best pro prospects in the game.
“I didn’t have any D-I, D-II or D-III offers for baseball,” Kingery told MLBtraderumors.com then. “So it was pretty much go to junior college or just take my chances at Arizona.”
That decision in 2012 can be linked to current discussions about just how long it’ll be until the Philadelphia Phillies take their chances on Kingery in the majors.
The Phoenix native is producing so well for Double-A Reading — and with a display of power not seen since his high school days — that he might have quickened the timetable for his big-league promotion.
Entering Sunday’s games, Kingery was tied for the Eastern League lead in home runs with six.
That’s the same number of homers he hit in three seasons at Arizona, and it’s a career-high in the pros through a mere 18 games this year.
He also ranks first in the league in runs (19), third in RBIs (17), and fifth in total bases (43) and slugging percentage (.632).
“It’s good to start out pretty hot out of the gate and get things rolling, build your confidence up and take it to the rest of the season,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer last week.
Kingery, a second baseman, was a Single-A all-star in the Florida State League last year, bolstering his reputation as an elite contact hitter and base stealer who plays good defense. He shined in spring training, hitting two homers and posting a .400 on-base percentage in 10 games as a nonroster invitee.
Here’s a glance at a few more of the 40 Southern Arizona products who are active in the minor leagues:
Batter of the week
Rob Refsnyder, IF/OF, Scranton-Wilkes Barre (AAA)
It’s unclear how Refsnyder factors into the Yankees’ future, but the one-time top prospect is doing his best to remain relevant.
Since the ex-Wildcat’s batting average shrank to .136 on April 14, he’s compiled nine extra-base hits and hit .320.
His hitting streak reached 10 games Saturday.
Pitcher of the week
James Farris, RHP, Hartford Yard Goats (AA)
Traded by the Cubs to the Rockies in February, Farris has maintained his usual high level of production with his new organization.
He became Hartford’s closer April 20 and notched his second save Friday.
In eight relief appearances this year, his ERA is 2.00.
Better luck next week
Ryan Aguilar, IF/OF, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (A)
Aguilar’s game-tying, three-run homer in Game 2 of the NCAA Super Regional last June is UA lore now, but he can’t find any juice at the plate this year.
He had five hits in the season’s first three games in the Brewers’ system, but he’s 5 for 49 (.102) ever since.
Back on the farm
Steve Selsky, IF/OF, Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA)
The Red Sox on Friday optioned Selsky, the UA’s 2010 batting champ, to Triple-A Pawtucket.
He made Boston’s opening day roster after hitting .356 in spring training, but he couldn’t replicate that success at the big-league level. He was just 1 for 9 (.111) in eight games.
The big number
10.6 Strikeouts per nine innings for Dan Slania, starting pitcher for Triple-A Sacramento (Giants) and Salpointe Catholic High School alumnus.