Could the Phillies start Bryson Stott at shortstop in 2022?
Last week, Dave Dombrowski made his way to Arizona to see some of the Phillies’ top prospects play in the Arizona Fall League. Bryson Stott was been incredible in the AFL so far this season and is joined by other top prospects in the Phillies organization, Logan O’Hoppe, and Hans Crouse. The most important name here is Bryson Stott for the Phillies, as the organization enters the offseason with plenty of holes to fill in their lineup, specifically shortstop, left field, and centerfield. There seems to be a good chance that Stott will be able to fill the hole at shortstop even with Didi Gregorius still under contract for another season.
The National League is expected to adopt a designated hitter this offseason, which could bode well with the Phillies. Didi Gregorius could then come off the bench or slide into the DH spot, moving Stott to a starter at shortstop. While in Arizona, Dave Dombrowski had this to say to reporters after a conversation with his 24-year old prospect.
“You should come with the mindset of trying to win a spot with the big-league club when you come to spring training….Hey, I’m going to try and win a job. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but I want to make sure he comes in with the right mindset.
The biggest concern with Stott is that he’s only played 10-games in Triple A. Stott was drafted in the first round, 14th overall in 2019 and played 22 total games with Jersey Shore, before playing the majority of his minor league games, 80, in Reading. Dombrowski was asked if players making the jump that quick could be a bad thing, but Dombrowski says “he’s seen it many times before”, and “he’s a good player, and has helped himself by playing in the Arizona Fall League”.
Bryson Stott has been seeing the ball very well in the AFL, slashing a line of .299/.446/.403 with 20 hits, 21 RBIs, and 5 stolen bases in 19 games with the Javelinas. Stott is showing signs of life and improvement every time he steps up to the plate, including a better approach at the ball, and specific pitchers themselves.
Dave Dombrowski sat down with Stott’s Double-A manager, Shawn Williams, and Williams said “he asked me more questions than any player I ever had. He’s one of those guys who love the game of baseball and I think he has a chance to be a winning big-league player.”
The free agent market is rich this offseason with shortstops. Big names like Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, and Corey Seager highlight the top free agents at shortstop as we roll into the winter months. Dombrowski will need to evaluate each of them while also giving some much needed attention to his bullpen, left field, and centerfield positions. It will be interesting to see where the money goes. Ideally, the shortstop position can go to Bryson Stott and all the focus can shift to bringing in bullpen guys and outfield help. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images