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Scott Kingery makes Phillies’ Opening Day roster, signs six-year extension

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Huge day for the former Wildcat

MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at Tampa Bay Rays Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

In 2012, Scott Kingery decided to attend The University of Arizona as a walk-on for the baseball team.

Six years later, Kingery has a six-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies and a spot on the team’s Opening Day roster.

The club announced on Sunday that the former Arizona Wildcats standout was signed to a new deal through at least 2023, and there are three club options for 2024-26.

He will receive a $1.5 million signing bonus, and see his annual salary increase over time to $8 million in 2023 per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb.

Kingery appears to be the central cog behind the Phillies’ rebuild, quickly making his way through the club’s farm system. He is rated the 31st overall prospect by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus heading into this season. It appears that the Phillies will use him in a “hybrid” role, which means he’ll likely play second and third base on a semi-regular basis.

Between the AA and AAA levels last year, Kingery hit a combined .304 in 543 at bats, and posted an OPS of .889. That was a huge improvement from 2016, where his OPS was .723.

The craziest thing about Kingery’s stats last year was how his power increased drastically. He banged out 26 home runs in 132 games, and was even leading all of professional baseball in dingers at one point.

“Everyone keeps asking me if I’m a home-run hitter and I keep telling them no,” Kingery told MiLB.com at the time. “I’m honestly just trying to put a good line-drive swing on the ball, and for some reason I’m hitting them in the air and they’re getting some carry on them. ... I wasn’t thinking about home runs coming into the season and I’m still not thinking about home runs.”

Well, he’s certainly hit a home run with this contract, and he’s now well on his way to becoming one of the most successful Arizona baseball players in recent memory.