Reading Fightin Phils prospect Bryson Stott started his first Double-A home game with a bang.
And then another.
The 2019 Philadelphia Phillies first-round pick blasted two home runs in his first two at-bats at Reading’s FirstEnergy Stadium on Tuesday as the Fightins topped the Hartford Yard Goats 5-2.
“It was fun. The fans were awesome,” Stott told Phillies Nation by phone on Wednesday. “Just going back to the week before, I kind of noticed some things that I was doing and tried to correct those. I generally got my swing feeling good again, so that was a big thing.”
Stott later added a double to go along with the center-field and left-field homers, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs. It was clearly the best game the 23-year-old shortstop has posted since joining the Class AA team last Tuesday. The adjustments he focused on seemed to make a big difference.
“My timing, it was a little bit off, and I was chasing some pitches that I know I couldn’t do much with,” Stott said of his first week in Double-A that saw him go 2-for-17 at the plate. “Just getting my timing right was what I was looking for.”
These small fixes, along with Stott’s advanced approach at the plate, helped him display his power, even if he wasn’t specifically trying to hit home runs
“I’m just trying to square it up and see what happens,” he said. “I’ve gotten bigger and stronger with the year off, so in the past some of these have been doubles. Trusting myself that I can hit for power to left-center and left and even center field has been big throughout my development.”
Another key part of Stott’s approach is his ability to reach base on balls. Even as he struggled in his first Double-A series, the shortstop drew seven walks in his first 25 plate appearances. That kind of eye at the plate has played a major factor in his advancement through the system.
“I’ve always walked a lot and I’ve always stayed in my approach and tried not to get out of it as best as I can,” the left-handed hitter said. “… Getting on base another way than just [hitting] is key.”
The UNLV product had a 1.001 OPS for the Jersey Shore Blue Claws at high Class A prior to his call-up, but wasn’t worried about when he’d reach Double-A. He lets the front office handle those personnel decisions, and keeps his focus on competing with his teammates each game.
“When I got the call to come here, it was an exciting moment, and just to keep playing is what I want to do,” Stott said.
Stott has no real goals in terms of promotion for the rest of the year, and how he plays won’t change at the new classification. He plans on just trusting his game, and is excited to have joined a Reading team that includes many players he spent time with in spring training and the Phillies’ alternate site ahead of the season.
“It’s fun. It’s baseball, and it’s still a game. It’s just a higher level,” Stott said. “You still got to go out and compete and try to beat that guy on the mound.
“The plan that I have, it’s what I’ve been kind of doing, and hopefully I continue this way.”
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