Over the past three seasons, Scott Kingery has easily been the most valuable player for the Arizona Wildcats.
Having come to Tucson as a walk-on, Kingery has now put himself in a position to possibly be drafted late in the first round of the 2015 MLB Draft, or possibly as a sandwich pick in Compensation A or early round two.
Out of Mountain Pointe HS in Phoenix, Kingery was a first-team Louisville Slugger All-American in his senior season of high school, having hit .485 as a shortstop. He hit .495 his junior year.
But when he showed up at Arizona, he was moved to the outfield, which is where he would play his first two years. It was a bit of a slow start adjusting to the college game, hitting .261 his freshman year.
He began to start every game in his sophomore year, and his batting average jumped. He was in the hunt for the Pac-12 batting title in 2014, hitting .354 in his second college season, and showing that he was a very good defensive outfielder, playing the vast majority of the season in centerfield.
With Trent Gilbert being drafted in 2014, a spot in the middle infield opened up for Kingery at second base, and he took it with authority.
He played both second base and centerfield in the 2014 Cape Cod League season, and succeeded at both, giving everyone hope that it would translate in 2015.
The full-time move to second base in 2015 turned Kingery into the best player in the Pac-12, and also turned him into a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist.
Kingery lit up opposing pitching all season, finishing with a .392 batting average, and unlike Kevin Newman, maintained that batting average through the Pac-12 season. Kingery hit .373 in Pac-12 play, nearly 70 points higher than the next guy on the Arizona team.
In 2015, even though his OBP was a little low for such a high batting average (.423), his OPS was nothing to sniff at (.984). That was thanks to a sudden power surge, racking up 25 extra-base hits in his junior season. He had only 24 XBH in his first two college seasons combined.
I personally feel that Kingery is more projectable than Newman, because his bat plays more in every ballpark, and he's shown that he has versatility in the field, and has the arm to make the transition back to shortstop if need be. Whatever team that takes him (Baseball America has the Tigers taking him at 34), they will be getting a great prospect, and a versatile piece to the puzzle that could make his way up the ranks quickly.