With the 14th pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, the Phillies selected shortstop Bryson Stott out of UNLV. If one position is particularly rich in this year’s draft, it is shortstop and Bryson Stott has seemingly emerged among all of the college shortstops to be the cream of the crop in that demographic due to his well-rounded skill set and track record of production.
Coming off of a 2018 season which saw him post a .998 OPS and striking out just 18 times in 59 games, Stott was high on many lists of draft prospects coming into the 2019 season. While his strikeout rate did climb, he still has walked significantly more than he has struck out (55 walks vs. 39 Ks) and he has shown more home run power as well. This has translated to a junior season where he has slashed .356/.486/.599 in 58 games with 10 home runs and 16 stolen bases. His best tool is his hit tool, but he has shown that he has a strong all-around game even if none of his tools really jump off the page. He has good actions at shortstop and makes all the throws he needs to even if he likely profiles as just an above average defender at short versus contending for Gold Gloves there.
The concerns with Stott are minor quibbles, although they do exist. Stott is far from slow on the basepaths, but some think he may add more muscle/weight as he looks to tap into more power and that could impact his baserunning prowess as well as his ability to stick at short. There are those who already think that while he is fine at shortstop, his profile fits better at third base where his arm should still be good enough. There are also those that wonder if his swing will mean he is more of a contact hitter as a pro vs. a guy that impacts the game regularly at the plate. Most agree, however, that he should be among the first college shortstops taken in the draft even if there are concerns about his overall upside.