Setting the Scene
Since signing Bryce Harper prior to the 2019 season, no one expected his Vegas connection to impact the team. Fast forward to 2022, and Harper is more or less co-running this team with Dave Dombrowski. Most signings and moves will probably go through Harper while he finishes his career with the Philadelphia Phillies.
In the 2019 MLB Draft, the Phillies selected Bryson Stott 14th Overall in the draft, and he is friends with Bryce Harper. There is no way Harper did not have a say in this pick. In 2022, the Phightins selected Justin Crawford 17th Overall from Bishop Gorman High School in...wait for it...Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Vegas Connection is real in Philadelphia! Even current Colorado Rockies star Kris Bryant (from LV) name floated around to sign with the Phillies during the offseason. However, Stott and Crawford look to be Phillies' mainstays for the future.
Viva Las Stott
Bryson Stott made the Phillies Opening Day Roster with his stellar play in the fall and during Spring Training. Due to his performance, many people, including myself, felt he was ready to take over for Didi Gregorius. However, when translating everything to the big leagues, things did not go according to plan for the young infielder.
Then manager Joe Girardi sent him down to find his groove because injuries always happen. Stott spent time with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs before returning to the Show due to Didi Gregorius and Johan Camargo's injuries and has made the most of his return. Most notably, the June 5th walk-off against the Los Angeles Angels cemented his confident return to the bigs.
OH MY GOD!! BRYSON STOTT WALK OFF HOME RUN FOR THE PHILLIES!!— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) June 5, 2022
Even most recently, his home run gave the Phils the lead against Atlanta in Game 1 of the current series. For more on Bryson Stott's recent hitting trends, refer to Ethan Witte's July 11th article.
Yesterday's biggest play: A three-run home run from @Phillies SS Bryson Stott.— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) July 26, 2022
Situation: Bottom 8th, 2 out, 3-2 count, Runners On 1st and 2nd
Score: ATL 4, PHI 3
PHI's win probability increased from 29% to 93%
PHI went on to win the game, 6-4pic.twitter.com/fSfZz5ZUew
What to Expect?
Stott prided himself on being a good hitter coming up in the minors and his college playing time. Now in The Show, Stott bats .193 BA, .264 OBP, .326 SLG, .589 OPS, 7 HR, 31 RBIs, and 44 SO in 239 PA. This stat line is nothing to write home, but the Phillies rookie is trending in the right direction.
Over his last seven games, Bryson Stott is batting .273 BA, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, and 4 BB. He is getting on base more and, if anything, will make an even stronger case once Jean Segura returns from the IL. The increase in BA shows that with MLB time, he will learn and adapt to be a better all-around hitter and ballplayer.
The Phillies need to give many of their younger stars more time in the majors, primarily because of the expiring contracts of Gregorius, Segura, and Herrera.
Bryson Stott projects to be the Phillies shortstop of the future. Most Phans can get behind this if his bat and defense keep trending in the right direction. If people think that I want to move Stott away from shortstop, then no need to worry because he needs to stay.
The possible scenarios indicated by the heading lie in what to do with the infield, for now, 2023, and beyond.
Scenario: First Base: Bohm, Second: Segura, Third: Devers, and SS: Stott.
- The Trade: Phillies would trade Rhys Hoskins, Garrett Stubbs, Hans Crouse, or Kendall Simmons (possibly both if it gets the job done).
- This trade provides the much-needed power bat at third base for the Phillies, or Devers can convert to first and leave Bohm at 3rd. Donny Sands or Logan O'Hoppe will get promoted to be the backup to JT Realmuto. Rafael Devers has another year of team control which could offer the Phillies good re-signability for the young third baseman.
- It also gives the Red Sox a first baseman they desperately need and a backup catcher that is much better than Kevin Plawecki. The Phillies sweeten the deal by providing a prospect or two for the win-now mode bat and a possible long-term solution to the hot corner.