Bryson Stott believes he can win the shortstop job for the 2022 season
While Major League Baseball remains in full lockdown, minor league ball clubs are still up and running. Phillies prospects reported to Clearwater, Florida as mini-camp kicked off yesterday for minor leaguers not on a MLB 40-man roster.
Phillies’ top prospects Bryson Stott, Logan O’Hoppe, Mick Abel, and Andrew Painter were in attendance yesterday in Clearwater. No one wants this lockout to continue, but at the very least, holds no effect on player development of younger prospects.
For the Philadelphia Phillies, shortstop remains a question mark heading into the 2022 season. Didi Gregorius battled through injuries and failed to meet expectations last season which opened up the door for a new shortstop, through free agency or the farm system to compete for the job.
Enter Bryson Stott
Bryson Stott turned heads during his 2021 campaign down in the minors. His play spanned across three levels, getting reps in Single-A, Double-A, and Triple-A. Stott hit .299/.390/.486 throughout those leagues, knocking in 49 RBIs and tallying 125 hits. Stott continued his dominance in the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .318/.445/.489 with the Javelinas, cracking 2 HRs and 31 RBIs on 28 hits.
The 24-year-old was asked on Wednesday about the starting shortstop position in 2022, and if he thought he could win that job. Here’s what he had to say.
“I mean, yeah, absolutely. You always love competition, and you always think you’re going to win, and you never want to be scared of anybody or do anything differently because somebody is watching or somebody isn’t watching. So I’m just going to go out and see what happens.”
Stott also said he’s been waiting so long for this day (minor-league camps) to start and is extremely excited to get back out on the field. The top prospect said he also talked to Dave Dombrowski back in October…
“(Dave Dombrowski) was pretty straightforward telling me what he told me. I just want to come here and play my game and do what I need to do. Obviously, I’m the player and they make those decisions. I just need to have fun, do what I do, and play the game right, and we’ll see what happens.”
The Phillies have Didi Gregorius tied to a $15M deal for the 2022 season, and it doesn’t seem like they’re going to be able to get off of that money. Gregorius returning to his old self would be great for the team, but after his rough 2021 season, that seems pretty unlikely unless you’re considering his injury issues as a reason for declining play (I’m not).
Bryson Stott’s always been a primary shortstop, but his game is at the level where he is still able to switch around the field if needed. Whether that’s moving from shortstop to second base or even third, there isn’t a limit on Stott’s game at this moment in time.
“If I have to move over, it is what it is. I just want to do anything I can do to get to Philadelphia and help that city and team win. So whatever it may be, if it’s short or anywhere else, it’s obviously not up to me.“
“I really honed in on that strike zone and tried to not miss the pitches I knew I could hit”, Stott said. “I mean, sometimes it was straight-up pitching around, but obviously you need to get on base and you need your on-base percentage to be just as good or even better than what you’re hitting…If I was going up there looking for a certain pitch and they didn’t throw it, I didn’t swing…I don’t mind working the count, getting deep into counts.” – Bryson Stott on the elevation of his game in 2021
Spring Training is going to make or break this Phillies season in regards to the Opening Day roster. If Bryson Stott continues to play like his 2021-self, the job is there for the young prospect to take. The shortstop of the future is confident in his game, and he believes that he has what it takes to be the Opening Day starter on April 8th, 2022.
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