The Phillies Should Start Bryson Stott at Shortstop With the New Incentives

MLB: FEB 16 Phillies Camp
CLEARWATER, FL – FEBRUARY 16: The Phillies pitchers gather together and catch up with one with the palm trees in the background moments before the start of the Philadelphia Phillies spring training workout on February 16, 2019 at the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

Halleluja! Phillies baseball is back.

It took a 99-day lockout for the MLB and MLBPA to come together and ratify a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Within the new CBA, there’s a new clause that could behoove the Phillies to make Bryson Stott the Opening Day Shortstop.

If Bryson Stott were to start on Opening Day and then finish within the top-3 for RoTY, the Phillies would receive draft picks. There’s no certainty that would happen, but this would just be ANOTHER reason to have Stott be the starting shortstop.

Baseball America has Stott slotted as the 67th best prospect in all of baseball. In 2021, Stott played in the Futures Game. He played just 10 games at Triple-A but slashed .303/.439/.394. Following the season, he destroyed the Arizona Fall League. He slashed .318/.445/.489 and really showed a great batter’s eye, walking 24 times in 26 games.

If Stott wants to break camp with the Phillies, he’ll have to show out in Spring Training. Didi Gregorius is still on the Phillies roster. He had a fantastic 2020 season but followed that up with a miserable 2021. He slashed just .209/.270/.370. This should be a true position battle to watch out for in Spring training.

Gregorius has a career .310 OBP in the majors and had a .334 OBP in the minors. Stott has had a .390 OBP throughout his time in the minors. Stott could realistically step into the role and get on base more than Gregorius.

To break into the top-3 of RotY voting, let’s look at the players who finished in 3rd place in 2021. Dylan Carlson of the Cardinals finished 3rd in NL voting. He slashed .266/.343/.437 and had a 3.2 bWAR. In the AL, Wander Franco slashed .288/.347/.463 and posted a 3.5 bWAR.

If Stott can play, say, 150 games with above-average hitting, he should be in the conversation for RoTY. The fact that he plays a premium defensive position well will also help his case and ultimately help the Phillies.

Photo by: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

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