Bryson Stott’s first major league game wasn’t just a test of his baseball skills, his work on the field and in the batsman’s box.
It was a test of his makeup, his flexibility, and his ability to beat one of those roles when the game threw you in the face in front of 44,000 people.
Passed the exam.
“That is it,” said fellow Vegas colleague and best friend Bryce Harper. “He doesn’t let anything bother him.
“Just go show he’s ready to be here and he’s excited to be here.”
Stott, 23, was the Phillies’ pick for the preliminary round in the first round in 2019. He is considered the shortest team in the future, but the club now needs him at third base.
He’s still learning to play the position and he showed up in the seventh game when he threw a few balls – both times he had to charge the ball – and failed to stop the dive in a difficult but possibly attainable game.
Velez had led 6-1 in the inning. The unflappable defense of Homer’s three runs against Aaron Nola allowed the Oakland A to score four times in the frame and make it one match.
At this point, the audience of 44,232 was spectators and everyone watching at home was thinking Here we are again with the $% # @ &% defense. One could sense a heightened anxiety on the field as the player now had to try to protect his lead in one round.
But the Phyllis held on, and so did Stott.
Nick Castellanos doubled his run at the bottom of seventh to put the two-round lead up again and exhaled the entire field.
Then, at the top of eighth, the ball found Stout at third base again. twice. Right back on the horse.
This time, he handled the two demobilized with ease. good hands strong throws. Just like Puddin’ Head Jones, Scott Rollin and Pedro Velez used to do this.
“Getting these two guys in a row was pretty cool,” Stott said after the match. “My mentality was ‘next’. Keep everything under wraps and come back to it. Trust myself. I know I can do these plays.”
Velez scored two more runs at the bottom of eighth place on the salt away a 9-5 opening day winning. Stott took the second hit that day, a RBI double against left-wing Kirby Snead, in the inning.
All in all, it was a huge recovery for Stout – both offensively and defensively.
“She says he’s very mature and can turn the page,” said manager Joe Girardi. I went up to him (after the eight plays) and said, ‘Wonderful.
“It’s not easy, on opening day, you probably have tension anyway. You get two really tough games (on the seventh) and he’s not able to do both. I mean, he hasn’t had such a play all spring. Then he does two plays outside. Gate in the next inning and doubles as a very left-handed. It says a lot about his maturity.”
Rhys Hoskins was also a fan of Stott. Impressed but not surprised.
“I think we learned about it in spring rehearsals,” Hoskins said. “He has responded to the pressure and his expectations as he tries to make the team. But to do it at this stage for the first time. Tough run, but so what. He immediately came back with stronger balls.
“I don’t think anyone is concerned about him.”
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