June 20, 2023
You can put the spotlight on a lot of bats in the Phillies' lineup right now and have plenty of reason for each to do so.
Kyle Schwarber is punishing baseballs everywhere because it's June now, J.T. Realmuto got back into the groove of being the best catcher in baseball, and Nick Castellanos just keeps finding ways onto the bases in what continues to be a major bounce-back year.
But Bryson Stott deserves just as much to be recognized amongst them, because for much of the season so far, especially when the Phillies were really struggling not too long ago, he was one of the team's best hitters. And right now, after a west-coast road trip that saw series wins over Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Athletics, Stott's really been feeling it, to the point where he's our choice for "who won the week" in Philly sports.
In the past seven days, Stott has slashed .333/.320/.667 with two homers, a triple, six runs batted in, and just a single strikeout.
Both of his homers were solo shots and both of them came against the NL West-leading Diamondbacks down in Arizona on the way to a statement of a series win for the Phils.
The first piled on in the 15-3 blowout last Tuesday:
STOTT SENDS ONE TO THE POOL PARTY IN RIGHT!— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) June 14, 2023
The fellas keep things rolling in AZ pic.twitter.com/NYXZpynblD
And the second opened up the scoring in the 5-4 win on Thursday to eventually help take three out of a four-game set:
Hey, this Bryson Stott kid is pretty good. pic.twitter.com/VZC5zAnIMH— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) June 15, 2023
That swing is a thing of beauty, isn't it?
Here's MLB Network's Anthony Recker with a recent breakdown of it along with Stott's overall approach at the plate:
Last year you could see the pieces of a good hitter in Stott, especially in the playoffs, but he just didn't have the puzzle fully together yet. The regular contact wasn't there as he hit just .234 with a .653 OPS during the regular season, but you also have to remember that he didn't have an everyday spot in the lineup until Didi Gregorius got released and that he slowly but surely improved from there.
Then you have to remember too that he was a massive pain for opposing pitchers to get out, routinely taking pitches or fouling them off constantly just to stay alive and chip away a little more at the pitch count until something broke – his nine-pitch battle against Spencer Strider in the NLDS back in October is a shining example of this.
In Year 2, through 68 games entering Tuesday ahead of a pivotal stretch of NL East matchups, Stott's making way more contact with a .296 batting average and is even boasting a bit more power with a .426 slugging percentage and seven home runs, which are just three shy of matching his 10 from the entirety of last season.
He's taken some big steps in only his second year as a full-time major leaguer, and that isn't even to mention his work in the infield or along the basepaths. By the way, he's still just 25 years old.
Stott probably has way more to offer, but for right now, he's doing A-O, A-O-K.
Who Won the Week 2023 Tally:
Joel Embiid: 5
James Harden: 3
Bryson Stott: 2
Kyle Schwarber: 1
Nick Castellanos: 1
Phillies bench: 1
Howie Roseman: 1
Tobias Harris: 1
Mac McClung: 1
Haason Reddick: 1
Kenny Gainwell: 1
DeVonta Smith: 1
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