What Bryson Stott needs to do to crack the Opening Day Lineup

PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 19: Philadelphia Phillies batting helmets sit on the wall during the MLB game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies on September 19, 2018, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

If you are not familiar with the name Bryson Stott, it’s time to learn about the future starting shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Phillies selected Stott with the 14th pick in the 2019 amateur draft, and he quickly became the best player in the farm system. Stott attended the University of Las Vegas. As some of you may know, another Phillies player (Bryce Harper) grew up in Las Vegas, and he turned out pretty good. Bryson has become close friends with Bryce, and the two even lived together during spring training. They could well be a formidable duo for years to come.

The Kid Can Hit

Bryson proved to be a fantastic hitter this past year in the minor leagues. Combined between A+, AA, and AAA, Stott posted a .299 batting average with 125 hits, 16 home runs, and 26 doubles. Not to mention, Stott was also named to the Future’s game during the All-Star weekend.

Beyond his impressive hitting, the kid also has also showed that he can field his position as well. While some like myself see him more as a second baseman at the big league level, there is no reason he can’t be better defensively than what the Phillies have put out the last few years.

Stott has been playing in the Arizona fall league over the past few weeks and is lighting it up again. Posting a ​​.319/.454/.458/.912 slash line in just 20 games; Bryson is proving he has what it takes.

The Challenges Ahead

If Bryson wants to take over the starting shortstop role for the Phillies in 2022, two challenges are standing in his way. 

The first challenge will be surpassing Didi Gregorius. Didi will be in the final year of his 2-year, $28M deal. The former Yankee did not play to the level of his contract and was a massive letdown for the club in 2021. Both at the plate and on the field, Didi often looked lost.

Time spent on the injured list and the bench were not favorable for Gregorius. Due to Didi’s poor play, manager Joe Girardi turned to Ronald Torreyes and Freddy Galvis to be the team’s starting shortstop during the year. If Bryson Stott wants to make the club out of Spring Training, he will have to beat out the veteran shortstop.

I expect Didi Gregorius to enter Spring Training hungry and ready to prove that 2021 is a thing of the past. Beating Didi in terms of play and the $14M dollars owed to him stand in the way of Bryson Stott. 

The second challenge standing in Bryson Stott’s way will be his power. Stott does not look like a typical home run hitter and is not known for hitting bombs. Showing progression in terms of power will be a necessity if Stott wants to make the club.

The left-hander should be able to take advantage of a shallow right field at Citizens Bank Park, which will help his overall numbers. With just two home runs in the Arizona Fall League thus far, we shall watch and see if Bryson can show a little more pop before heading into the long winter break. 

When the team arrives in Clearwater for Spring Training, all eyes will be on Bryson Stott. Whether or not the Las Vegas kid can crack the Opening Day starting lineup remains to be seen. However, Phillies fans should just be glad that we have this caliber player on their squad.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire