These Phillies’ holiday adventure should get fans excited for the future
Bryce Harper and Phillies top prospect Bryson Stott are spending the offseason together
The dynamic duo, along with Harper’s wife and two kids, and Stott’s girlfriend, recently went to see the dazzling lights display and Christmas market at Enchant Christmas. The gorgeous excursion is hosted by Las Vegas Ballpark, the home of the Oakland Athletics’ Triple-A Las Vegas Aviators.
Harper and Stott go way back. The reigning NL MVP played travel ball with Stott’s older brother Brennan years ago, and their mothers are friends. The two ballplayers also recently vacationed together on a group trip to Hawaii.
In February 2021, Harper said that Stott is at his house every weekend “watching Buckeye football and hanging out.” That’s also when Harper’s son Krew helps Stott with his training; the toddler hits baseballs off a tee for the shortstop to chase around.
Stott stayed with the Phillies star during the club’s Spring Training in Clearwater, which led to the prospect tweeting “Roomie homer” every time his pal homered during his MVP season.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi described Harper as having a real “big brother personality” with the team’s top infield prospect.
Last winter, Harper described Stott as a mix of J.J. Hardy and Brandon Crawford, with a similar swing to Garret Anderson. Then, he essentially predicted the future:
“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.”
Stott skyrocketed through the Phillies system this year, beginning the season in High-A and finishing it in Triple-A. Over 112 games between three levels of the Phillies’ farm system, he hit .299/.390/.486 with a .876 OPS, 16 home runs, 26 doubles, two triples, 71 runs scored, and 49 driven in. He also went 10-for-14 in stolen base attempts.
The Phillies’ number-two prospect is now expected to debut in early 2022. He could even make the Opening Day squad; president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told Stott to come to Spring Training with the goal of earning his spot on the big-league roster.
Harper is coming off an MVP season in which he led MLB in doubles, slugging, OPS, and OPS+. However, he didn’t have much help from the rest of the lineup. Stott is part of the Phillies’ plan to fix that, and after what we saw this season, he could be huge.
A merry and bright future, indeed.
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