Bryson Stott, SS, PHI

Bryson Stott could always hit, which is how he wound up a 1st-round pick by the Phillies. But the knock on him was that the raw power might not translate to game power, and his habit of expanding the strike zone by being athletic enough to reach for pitches waaay out of the zone might mean he wouldn’t walk enough. So how’s he doing this year?

Video courtesy of Carlos Collazo
  • Born: October 6, 1997
  • B/T: Left/Right
  • 6’3″, 200-lbs
  • Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2019 MLB June Amateur Draft from UNLV.

The Numbers

His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

Looking pretty good from this angle. The power has increased, but at the same time the walks increased too, leading to an even better OBP. His power is real as his Hard% shows.

The strikeout rate is well within the normal range of today’s game, my red highlighting notwithstanding (I am a batting eye snob and hate it when players strike out too much, but I acknowledge in today’s game you can make a good living while having a red-highlighted strikeout number by me).

The left-hitting Stott is predictably hitting better against righties, though his High-A splits were not extreme. What we see in Double-A is more concerning should it continue. But since it’s only 23 plate appearances against LHP, I’m giving more weight to his High-A numbers for now.

Savant doesn’t have his 2021 numbers, but we see in 2019 he really only had pull power, and that was the concern. But as we saw above, his ISO has jumped, and he plays in Reading, a notorious park for making batters look good. So I expect his opposite field power will look better in 2021.

The Scouts

Warnings

We wanted to see more game power, and we are (9 HRs in 190 PA this year compared with 6 HRs in 193 PA in 2019). But that was a concern.

Scouts tell us his swing, his frame, his stiffness have atypical looks, so they weren’t sure what he would produce in the pro game. If he has problems getting to game power, he needs to stick at SS to have value.

Conclusion

If he expanded the strike zone, it would get exploited in the majors, but as we see above, his walk rate is fantastic. This is a real skill evidently.

And the power is growing, and it’s not all Reading either:

A+ Jersey Shore: 95 PA, 5 HR, 4 doubles, .288/.453/.548

AA Reading: 95 PA, 4 HR, 4 doubles, .300/.400/.525

Yes, as I write this, the plate appearances are even, giving us a nice comparison of skill. He had more power before getting to Reading, though his average has jumped there. The point is, the game power gain is real this year. It took him twice as many PA in 2019 to reach 5 HR.

With good on-base skills that show a good eye at the plate, increasing game power, a bit of speed as well, and no reason yet to think he cannot stick at SS, Bryson Stott is having a great season that puts to rest some of the concerns scouts had about him.

He hit his way to Double-A where he is more than a year younger than the average player. He’s succeeding ahead of schedule. See you in the majors late in 2022, Mr. Stott.

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