Bryson Stott Finds A Believer In All-Star Teammate
The coronavirus pandemic cost shortstop Bryson Stott what would have been his first full season of pro ball in 2020, but he believes he made strides at the alternate training site.
“It was a big growth experience, offensively and defensively,” said the 2019 first-rounder from Nevada-Las Vegas.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Stott was encouraged not to worry about stats as the lefthanded hitter saw an abundance of lefthanded pitchers and worked on using his legs more in his swing, especially when hitting the ball the other way. The goal, he said, was to eliminate opposite-field flares and hit the ball with authority to all fields.
“I learned that I’m big enough and strong enough that I don’t need to rely on right field to get extra-base hits,” the 23-year-old said.
Stott, who hit .295/.391/.494 in 48 games in 2019 between short-season Williamsport and the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, is eager to play a full slate in 2021. He attended the Phillies' mini-camp in February and March and stayed with Bryce Harper, a close friend from back home in Las Vegas.
Harper offered a scouting report on Stott.
“I think if he pushes the envelope, he’s a big leaguer, I really do,” Harper said. “He’s a very good mix, I would say, of J.J. Hardy and Brandon Crawford, a guy who makes every play.
"He’s not super flashy, but he has the arm like Crawford and he’s very good up the middle. He has a similar swing—doubles to left, homers to right—as Garret Anderson, if I could imagine that. I know that’s pretty good praise because he was a very good hitter.
“He’s a very good player and he’s going to do whatever he can to get to here, whether that’s playing second or shortstop."
The Phillies have contract commitments to shortstop Didi Gregorius and second baseman Jean Segura through 2022. That time frame could align nicely with Stott’s development curve.
“Work hard, play hard and if you hit, there'll be a place for you,” said Stott, mentioning some advice he received from Harper.