In his two months as a Phillies prospect, Bryson Stott has been introduced to some new philosophies. He's participated in some "unique" drills. One saying that sticks out among the lessons? Punish strikes.
"When you get those pitches over the heart of the plate, you really gotta do damage with them," Stott said, "because you don't know if you're going to get another in the at-bat or even the game."
The third-ranked Phillies prospect did not waste them Sunday. He left the yard twice and drove in three runs, powering Class A Short Season Williamsport to a 10-3 win over State College at BB&T Ballpark. It was the first multi-homer effort of Stott's brief professional career and raised his OPS with the Crosscutters to .870.
Gameday box score
Stott's first jack doubled as the first hit of the game, a solo shot to left-center field off right-hander Junior Gonzalez (2-4) in the opening inning. He flied to left in the second but got to Gonzalez again in the fourth, this time taking the Spikes starter out to right for two more runs. Both pitches Stott drove were right where he likes them -- a little up but still over "the big part of the plate."
"I'm just trying to put good swings on the ball and really let the ball determine where it's going," Stott said.
That much has been clear from Stott's swing as a pro. Philadelphia selected him with the 14th overall pick in June's Draft, and he homered in his first Gulf Coast League at-bat on July 9. He did the same in his New York-Penn League debut five days later.
But the 21-year-old batted .179 with 14 strikeouts in his first 16 games with the Crosscutters and tacked on just one more dinger. Stott found himself chasing. And it's hard to punish a ball you can't reach.
"Obviously, you never really want to look at your numbers," Stott said. "I was hitting balls hard, they were just getting caught. It's baseball. You're going to go into those little funks."
2019 MiLB include
So he told himself to go back to basics. He shortened his swing and had his legs do the most work. He let the ball come to where he wants it. And his production in August has followed. Stott -- whose final plate appearance Sunday was a four-pitch walk -- has hit safely in nine of 11 games and logged multiple hits in five of his last six. And with two homers against the Spikes, Stott has five extra-base hits in his last four contests. His slash line is up to .275/.365/.505.
The Las Vegas native and UNLV product, normally a shortstop, manned second base for the first time as a pro because Kendall Simmons, the Phillies' sixth-round pick, accompanied him up the middle. Simmons was the only Crosscutter to drive in more runs than Stott, blasting a grand slam in the second inning.
Stott hadn't played second since his freshman year of high school but anticipates and is open to the idea of moving around the infield for the versatility.
"My goals are just to get better every day," he said, "leaving the park knowing that I got better."