Instant Reaction: Phillies select Bryson Stott in first round of MLB Draft

Matt Klentak and the Phillies selected a shortstop with their first round pick in 2019. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

In an interesting turn of events, shortstop Bryson Stott fell to the Philadelphia Phillies at No. 14 in the first round of the MLB Draft Monday evening. All of the Phillies top pitching options – George Kirby, Zack  Thompson and Jackson Rutledge – were all still on the board at the time of this selection. Instead, the Phillies selected a college position player in the first round for the third consecutive season (they selected outfielder Adam Haseley in 2017 and third baseman Alec Bohm in 2018).

More on Stott

Stott is a 21-year-old short stop from UNLV. MLB Pipeline considers him a plus hitter with a 60 on the scouting grade scale (the scale goes from 20-80). Stott gets a 55 scouting grade on running ability, throwing ability and fielding. His lowest grade is his power, which comes in at 45. He was No. 9 on the Pipeline Big Board.

Here’s what MLB Pipeline had to say about Stott:

Nearly all of Stott’s tools grade out as at least above-average. He has the chance to be a plus hitter, with very advanced bat to ball skills. He’s never overmatched and always seems comfortable in the box, handling good velocity and offspeed stuff equally well, while walking more than he’s struck out in his college career. Even when he’s off-balance, he keeps his hands back and shoots the ball the other way to left field. And while he’ll never sell out his hit tool for power, he’ll show pop in batting practice and it’s easy to dream on 15-18 homers annually at the next level.

That sounds a lot like current Phillies shortstop Jean Segura, who has proven to be an integral addition to a star-studded lineup in 2019.

In his junior year at UNLV, Stott hit .356 with 10 home runs, 20 doubles and two triples. He only had five career home runsin his first two years at UNLV; it’s common for college players to see an uptick in their power during their junior year. He walked 55 times, compared to only 39 strikeouts this year. Stott also stole 16 bases this year.

His biggest concern would be his fielding, as he had a .969 fielding percentage this year. So we’ll have to see if he sticks at shortstop long term. The Phillies clearly liked Stott because of his advanced discipline at the plate, which seems to be something that general manager Matt Klentak, scouting director Johnny Almaraz and the Phillies target early in drafts.

The Phillies played the board here and took the best available player, despite starting pitching most likely being their biggest need – something they’ll likely target in the later rounds of the draft.


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