Bryce Harper offers extensive scouting report on Phillies prospect/roommate


How's this for a spring training roommate?

Bryson Stott, the Phillies' top pick in the 2019 draft, is staying with Bryce Harper in Clearwater.

Filet mignon every night?

"No," Stott said with a laugh. "But he is a great host."

Stott and Harper both hail from Las Vegas and the family connections run deep. Harper played some travel ball with Stott's older brother Brennen. Harper, the first overall pick in the 2010 draft, was there to offer congratulations, support and advice when Bryson Stott was selected 14th overall by the Phillies in 2019.

Back in Vegas, Stott occasionally takes batting practice with Harper and the two regularly get together at Harper's house to watch Ohio State football games. Harper is a big Buckeyes fan because his wife, Kayla, played soccer at the school, and Stott adopted that team as his favorite as a youngster.

Harper, 28, called Stott, 23, one of his close friends.

"He's more than a teammate," Stott said. "It's awesome to see him go about his business and watch his kids grow."

While Harper is entering his 10th big-league season, Stott is a lefty-hitting shortstop who is still really just getting started in his pro career. The UNLV product was about to embark on his first full professional season before the pandemic shut down minor-league baseball in 2020. 

Stott was one of the lucky ones. He got to recoup some development time when he was included in the group sent to the Phillies' auxiliary camp in July. He received two months of instruction and reps in intrasquad games.

"It was a big growth experience, offensively and defensively," said Stott, who is 6-2, 205 pounds.

Stott's bat has the potential to be a standout tool. At the auxiliary camp, he worked on using his legs more and hitting the ball to all fields with authority.

"I learned that I'm big enough and strong enough that I don't need to rely on right field to get extra-base hits," he said.

Stott, who can also play second base, is currently in Phillies mini-camp in Clearwater, getting ready for the new season, and could get a look in a Grapefruit League game or two and projects to play in the minors in 2021. The goal is a swift ascension to Philadelphia. The Phillies' middle infield situation is potentially set through 2022 with Didi Gregorius at shortstop and Jean Segura at second. That's not an inordinate amount of time considering that Stott still needs development time and if he makes quick progress, well, there's nothing wrong with putting a little heat on people.

Stott was asked about what advice he's received from Harper.

"Play hard, work hard, have fun and if you hit, there will be a place for you," he said.

Harper offered an extensive scouting report on Stott.

"He's a very good mix, I would say of J.J. Hardy and Brandon Crawford," Harper said. "A guy who makes every play, not super flashy, but he has the arm like Crawford does and is very good up the middle.

"I would imagine he has a very similar swing — doubles to left, homers to right — as Garret Anderson, if I could imagine that. That's pretty good praise because he was a very good hitter. 

"He's a very good player and he's going to do whatever he can to get to the big leagues, whether that's playing second or shortstop. The game isn't too big for him. He's very even-keeled with a blue-collar mentality that would work in Philadelphia.

"If he pushes the envelope, I think he's a big-leaguer, I really do. This is what he wants to do. I want him to be here. I think he's going to be a great ballplayer, but he has to work to be here. If he's not going to work, then he's not going to be here."

Harper isn't just committed to knowing and helping young players from his hometown. A year ago, he took Alec Bohm, a Nebraskan, under his wing. 

"That's the one thing I've noticed about Bryce is he's kind of got that big brother personality," manager Joe Girardi said. "Bryce has been in the big leagues a long time but he's really not that old. I think he enjoys that leadership role. I think he enjoys mentoring. He knows what it's like to have expectations on you, probably as many as anyone when he signed. He knows how hard it is to get to this level and stay at this level and I think he has a lot of knowledge to offer these young kids, and he's not that far removed from being that young kid himself.

"I love that he does it. At some point, these young kids are going to come up and you want them to be comfortable when they walk in the clubhouse. Whether you're a young player or a veteran player, you're going to go through tough times and it really helps when you have someone to lean on when you're a young player."

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