Move over, Rhys Hoskins. Scott Kingery is the next big Phillies thing. Remember the hype train that surrounded Hoskins during his two-month takeover of the majors last summer? There's a similar buzz building around what Kingery could be if given the chance to crack the Opening Day roster this spring. But despite a .389/.421/.944 slash line through the first few weeks of Grapefruit League games, a trip back to the minors is almost certainly on the way. Here's why. Service time and common sense: This is a baseball issue, not a Phillies issue. Players need to accrue six years of service time before hitting free agency. In order to qualify a full year of service time, 172 days in the majors is required. If the Phillies just hold Kingery back a few weeks (this year's MLB calendar has 186 days), a full extra year will be allotted to them before the player can one day be a free agent. Before you yell about how it's silly to worry about the long-term future, consider this: If the Washington Nationals brought Bryce Harper up on Opening Day 2012 (instead of waiting until late April), he may have walked away in free agency this winter. Sure, rewarding Kingery would be the the right thing to do and could create major buzz heading out of spring. It would also be foolish for the organization. If Kingery is great, it matters a great deal: For the average minor league players working his way to a big league job, this isn't a critical step in the process. For potential stars, it's much different.
Why Phillies' Scott Kingery should start season in minor leagues
Newark Star-Ledger | Mar 5