Bryson Stott is expected to make his MLB debut in 2022, with the Phillies hoping that the top prospect can provide some immediate help to a lineup that both has plenty of holes, and is in need of a youth infusion. Stott has spent most of his two pro seasons at shortstop, but “if I have to move over [to another position], it is what it is,” Stott told NBC Sports’ Jim Salisbury and other reporters. “I just want to do anything I can do to get to Philadelphia and help that city and that team win. So whatever it may be, if it’s short or anywhere else, it’s obviously not up to me.”
Stott has also seen action at second and third base during his time in the minors, giving the Phillies some flexibility in determining both his eventual everyday role and what they might pursue roster-wise once the lockout is over. Second baseman Jean Segura is entering the last year of his contract and third baseman Alec Bohm is looking to bounce back from a rough 2021, and might not stick at third base over the long term anyway. It is also possible Stott might simply remain at shortstop, given how president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said back in October that incumbent Didi Gregorius wasn’t a guaranteed to even return in 2022, let alone remain the starting shortstop. The Phillies will benefit from some extra time to monitor Stott during ongoing minor league minicamps and minor league spring camp next month, as Stott isn’t locked out since he isn’t yet on Philadelphia’s 40-man roster.
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- A breakout performance from Stott would be a nice win for a Phillies organization has had well-documented issues in drafting and developing players who eventually contribute at the big league level. Newly-hired player development director Preston Mattingly has a lot of work ahead in turning things around, though Mattingly told MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki and other reporters that “our system’s a lot deeper than people give it credit….I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a bunch of other teams’ top guys, and I think the guys in our system stack up with those guys. They don’t get the recognition that others do.” In the first months of his tenure, Mattingly has prioritized improving communication within the organization and throughout the different levels of the minor leagues, focusing on making sure that “everybody has the same message when it goes from staff to players…getting everybody with a consistent message going in the same direction” and also that the players themselves are well-informed about the team’s plans. As Mattingly put it, “it’s all a team effort, right? The players, the staff — it’s a two-way street. We got to work together; it’s their career, we’re trying to help them in any way possible.”
- Bench depth and pinch-hitting are both areas of need for the Phillies to address after the lockout, as The Athletic’s Matt Gelb notes that the team got very little pop from their pinch-hitters in 2021. The likely introduction of the universal DH will create the need for more position-player help, as Gelb indicates that the Phillies are going to rotate their everyday starters through the DH position rather than have a regular designated hitter.