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Phils close out Draft Day 1 with 2B Kingery

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies might have just drafted their long-term replacement for Chase Utley, selecting Scott Kingery late Monday night with the 48th overall pick in the 2015 Draft.

The Draft continues Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The preview show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

Kingery, a second baseman from the University of Arizona, won Pac-12 Player of the Year honors after hitting .392 with five home runs, 36 RBIs and a .984 OPS in 54 games this season.

Scouting director Johnny Almaraz believes Kingery will be a "quick mover" through the Phillies' system.

"He's an advanced hitter and an everyday second baseman," Almaraz said.

The Phillies' first pick on Monday (and 10th overall), high school shortstop Cornelius Randolph, will move to left field once he signs, which could happen quickly.

Two picks, two hitters.

"We just felt it would be a good balance," Almaraz said about drafting a high school and a college hitter.

Kingery, who is listed at 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds and hits right-handed, could reach the big leagues more quickly than Randolph.

"He's got a good swing and a little bit of pop," Almaraz said about Kingery. "Doubles with occasional pull power. But his ability to play defense and set the tone at the top of the lineup -- he's a very exciting player. Lot of quick twitch. Gets things going."

Kingery also made the Pac-12 all-defensive team, so he is more than just a hitter. But his bat is what made the Phillies pick him. Per, he has a quick, short stroke and an outstanding approach at the plate. He is not a power guy, but he is projected as a top-of-the-lineup hitter because of his on-base ability and speed.

"We have great balance with Cornelius at one and Kingery at two," Almaraz said. "Kingery is going to be a quick mover. You guys know that the bat dictates if you play at the Major League level. You do a statistical analysis on him -- it's pretty impressive."

There have been some pretty good finds with the No. 48 pick: Cal Ripken Jr. (1978), Josh Donaldson (2007), Sid Bream (1981) and Chris Singleton (1993). Perhaps Kingery will be one of them.

"I'm excited," Almaraz said. "There's several picks to make. This is where we have to grind it out. There are several Major League players that are going to be developed out of the group from [Rounds] three to 40. We have to keep our heads down and doing our homework and making the right picks."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
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