Sunday, September 24, 2017

Scott Kingery Interview Excerpts: Speaking on recent accolades, protective netting, more

Scott Kingery, image- Jay Floyd
Last week I talked with Phillies second base prospect Scott Kingery about recent accolades, as he was honored as the organization's annual Paul Owens Award winner and collected a Gold Glove Award for his stellar efforts on defense.

Click here to read my complete feature on those honors.

The following is interview excerpts featuring the 23-year-old's thoughts on the possible need for additional protective netting at big league ball fields and other topics related to his awards. 

Read ahead for those exclusive quotes from Kingery.

-He spoke about being named the top Phillies minor leaguer for the 2017 season...

First of all the Paul Owens Award, it's an incredible honor to be able to get that aware when so many great players have come through and won that award, so it just shows the success that I was able to have this year and what I was able to do.  It's an honor just to have the Phillies think so highly of me and to give me that award.

-Kingery talked about how he found out about being honored as the Paul Owens Award winner along with pitcher Tom Eshelman and how he got the news about the Gold Glove...

For the Paul Owens Award we were actually still playing in the playoffs and (Triple-A Lehigh Valley manager) Dusty (Wathan) brought me and Tom into his office and congratulated us and said, "I just wanted to let you guys know you won the award and they're going to honor you at a game."  He said we'll get the details later and it was a testament to what you guys were able to do this season and they're going to honor you, bring our your families and show you a good time.

So it's pretty cool hearing that.  The Gold Glove Award, I was home in Arizona and I think I was just eating breakfast and I got a call from (Phillies director of player developent) Joe Jordan and he called me and said, "Hey, I just want to let you know that you won a Gold Glove." And when he said that, it was incredible for me, because defense is my favorite part about my game and that award kind of left me speechless because I know how exclusive that award is.

-Kingery talked about the experience of being honored on the field during a pre-game ceremony prior to a Phils game last week and being joined for a photo op, by other players that had previously won the Paul Owens Award, including former Phillie Chase Utley...

I think that was the coolest part about the whole thing was when everyone that had won the award came out and we got a photo and then Chase came over.  Just to see the guys that you're along side of that have all won that award and you look down the line and see all the players.  I think it was incredible how many players were on that field that night.  You know, I think there was something like eight or nine players out there.  That shows that all those Phillies players came up through the system and had great years and have continued their success to be able to be all up there on the big club.  It's amazing to see how many guys and the type of players that won that award and then you're part of it.

-Kingery also spoke of the loved ones that joined him in Philadelphia last week...

My parents came out and my older brother, who is in med school in New York right now, he had the chance to come too, and I brought my girlfriend with me, so I had a good amount of people there and when I told my parents, they were super excited and they took off work to be there.  Just to have your friends and family there to be able to experience that with you it's a big moment in your life.  Just to have them there and see how proud they are of you, it's a good feeling.

-I asked Kingery about the attention going toward the topic of adding protective netting at ballparks around baseball, following a young fan getting hit with a line drive foul ball at a Yankees game this week...

You know, that's something that I've realized my whole life, you get a pitch that someone is early or late on and you get a screaming line drive straight into the stands and a lot of times people get lucky, but not everyone is paying attention to the game at all times.  And I've always thought it would be a good idea to extend the netting past the dugout.  Because if you hit a foul ball over the dugout or in front of the dugout those balls are coming in hard and those can really injure someone, so I've always thought it would be in everyone's best interest to extend the netting.  I know fans like to be close and be able to see the game not through a net, but I think that's just keeping everyone's safety in mind and no player wants to see that happen.  
 
And I think it was Todd Frazier who hit the ball and you could just tell from his facial expression, you know, that it's-- no one ever want to be the guy that hits someone and I think it would be best for everyone- the fans, the players- if we extended the nets down and- 'cause by the time it gets down past the net, you'd have time to react, but if there's a ball right over the dugout, there's not much time to react, so I think it's good idea, actually, to extend them.
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