The Phillies and first-round draft pick Bryson Stott have agreed to a deal that will allow the UNLV alum to officially begin his professional career. The deal, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer is just below the slot level of $4.04-million for the 14th overall pick, coming in at $3.9-million.
Stott was in Philadelphia on Thursday to officially sign the contract, meet the media and some of the Phillies players and tour the clubhouse and the rest of Citizens Bank Park. He also spent a half-inning in the TV booth with Tom McCarthy and Ben Davis. After the whirlwind tour, Stott will jet down to Clearwater and spend a little time at the Phillies facility prior to being assigned to a short-season team.
At the announcement ceremony, assistant GM Brian Minniti was non-committal about where Stott would begin his professional career. He was especially non-committal about how quickly he may move through the system, stating that “I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on him or any other player.” If the recent past is any indication, Stott will likely play a few games in the Gulf Coast League prior to winding up with the Williamsport Crosscutters in the New York-Penn League. It’s also not out of the question that he could hit the Jersey shore for some time with the Lakewood BlueClaws before the summer is over. That final stop is likely the one that Minniti and the Phillies don’t want to commit to, since it could set Stott up for failure if he is unable to reach that level prior to next season.
“If he needs more time at a certain level, he’ll get it,” said Minniti. “When he’s ready to move to a different level, we’ll get him moving.”
Stott described the Philadelphia portion of the experience as “surreal.” His agent, Scott Boras, was a little faster to comment on how quickly Stott could rise to the upper levels of the minors and even into the majors. “He has a chance to move quickly,” Boras said. “His bat is something that you don’t often see from a middle infielder at the collegiate level.”
Among the top 10 picks made by the Phillies, only 11th rounder Marcus Lee Sang, an outfielder drafted out of Northern High School in Maryland has not signed. The Phillies are still hopeful of signing Sang. The Phillies did not have a second round pick because of signing Bryce Harper as a free agent. That pick was awarded to the Washington Nationals, Harper’s old club, who had given him a qualifying offer.