It was a slow beginning to his major league career. Bryson Stott didn’t catch the world by storm. His beginnings with the Philadelphia Phillies were lackluster, underwhelming, and at least one more adjective to describe someone who didn’t look ready.
Fast-forward to August, a couple of painful months, and Stott is the only solution the team has at the shortstop position. Did he fall flat without Didi Gregorius around?
Not in the least. The Phillies’ X-factor is hotter than ever.
Phillies X-factor Bryson Stott is having himself a fantastic August.
How is August already nearly over? A more important question, can the Phillies hold onto a playoff spot?
If Stott has a choice in the matter, it looks like they might. He has been getting more regular at-bats in the leadoff spot while Kyle Schwarber has tended to his wounds on the sidelines, only available for pinch-hitting duties. Meanwhile, Stott has continued to be a valuable piece in the Phillies lineup each and every day with no real safety net behind him.
Through 55 August plate appearances, Stott is slashing .321/.346/.396. The batting average is nearly 100 points higher than the .238 he hit in June—his previous best month of the season.
Stott has yet to go yard in August, but he is getting on base. He’s being a pain to opposing teams. In these four games against the New York Mets this weekend, it could be a big help in making them feel like Chase Utley has returned.
For a while, it looked like Stott wouldn’t be much of a factor for the Phillies this year. He hit .133 in April and got even worse in May when he batted .116. Out of necessity and a lack of choices, the team stuck with him. He knocked his first home run in June and added three more before the calendar flipped. While he doesn’t appear to be a power hitter—at least not yet—at least he is a threat to do some damage.
Rookies can sometimes get hot and stay that way through the rest of the year. Someone might have whispered something in his ear or maybe he’s just seeing things better at the plate. Whatever it is, Stott has the potential to be a real pain for other teams.