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Prospect Kingery not switching positions

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- Triple-A Lehigh Valley second baseman Scott Kingery is taking ground balls at third base, but he is not becoming a third baseman.

"We're not moving him off second," Phillies player development director Joe Jordan said Wednesday afternoon. "We're not trying to get him ready in 10 days to play third base anywhere. He's a very, very good second baseman. He can change a game defensively, just like he can offensively. We're not under any mandate from anyone."

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PHILADELPHIA -- Triple-A Lehigh Valley second baseman Scott Kingery is taking ground balls at third base, but he is not becoming a third baseman.

"We're not moving him off second," Phillies player development director Joe Jordan said Wednesday afternoon. "We're not trying to get him ready in 10 days to play third base anywhere. He's a very, very good second baseman. He can change a game defensively, just like he can offensively. We're not under any mandate from anyone."

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Kingery, the Philllies No. 11 prospect who will play in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday in Miami, is hitting .361 (13-for-36) with two doubles, four triples, eight RBIs, two stolen bases and a 1.092 OPS in nine games with the IronPigs. He hit .313 (87-for- 278) with 18 doubles, five triples, 18 home runs, 44 RBIs, 19 stolen bases and a .987 with Double-A Reading before his promotion.

So what's up with Kingery taking grounders at third? Nothing really. He also took ground balls at third and shortstop with Reading.

The Phillies often have Minor Leaguers move around the diamond to make them more versatile. Maikel Franco played third and first. Cesar Hernandez played second, short and even some center field. Nick Williams, Roman Quinn and Dylan Cozens have played everywhere in the outfield.

No. 1 Draft picks Mickey Moniak and Adam Haseley both play center field. If both pan out, one of them will have to move, so you can bet they will be moving around the outfield in the coming years.

"It's a 140-game season," Jordan said. "It's five-plus months. It's trying to keep things fresh and I think it's important for these guys to do different things just to help them get through the season. That's it. There are really no plans to change his position."

Kingery's potential promotion to the big leagues is the hot topic among Phillies fans. But Kingery is not on the 40-man roster and he does not need to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft in December. It would not be a surprise to see Kingery make his debut sometime in 2018, assuming he keeps playing well.

First, it would allow the Phillies to protect another prospect from the Rule 5 Draft. Second, it would give them another year of Kingery under team control. The Cubs did something similar with Kris Bryant, who destroyed Double-A and Triple-A pitching in 2014. They finally promoted Bryant in mid-April 2015, which essentially gave the Cubs seven years of Bryant instead of six. Bryant cannot become a free agent until after the 2021 season. If he had been on the 2015 Opening Day roster or earlier, he would have become a free agent following the 2020 season.

If the Phillies promoted Kingery this season, he could become a free agent following the 2023 season. If they wait until sometime next season, it would not happen until 2024. That could prove invaluable to a team that continues to rebuild.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies