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July 11, 2023

Bryson Stott needs to be playing every day

Bryson Stott "won the week" in the Philly sports scene. He should be playing even more than he currently is, too.

Quick trivia question: which Phillies infielder has the highest OPS this season? No, it's not the $300 million man himself, Trea Turner. Nor is it the slap hit king Alec Bohm. It's certainly not Edmundo Sosa. The answer is sophomore second baseman Bryson Stott. 

His OPS of .760 (with a triple slash line of .301/.338/.422) is actually higher than that of star slugger Kyle Scwarber (.736), whose inconsistency at the plate in 2023 is only matched by that of Aaron Nola on the mound. Nick Castellanos has been the Phillies' best player this year, but the trio of Castellanos, Stott and Brandon Marsh are the unlikely trio that have been continuously holding things down for the Fightins. 

For the honors of the figure who "won the week" in Philly, my weekly feature here at PhillyVoice, I'm going with Stott. In six games before the All-Star Break, Stott hit .409 with a .935 OPS, two doubles and two steals as the Phillies went 4-2. The wild part is that he should be playing even more than he already is. 

Manager Rob Thomson's platoon system is nonsensical. Stott actually has reverse splits. As a lefty, his OPS is .802 against left-handed pitchers and .743 against righties in 2023. Over his two-year career, those numbers hold true. In 614 plate appearances against righties, his OPS is .674. His OPS against lefties? .775. The only way to develop up-and-coming talent into everyday players is to, you guessed it, let them play every single day. The same thing has infuriated me about Marsh over the course of the young season.

Yet, the Phillies' lineup has seen far too many appearances of journeyman utility infielder Josh Harrison. Perhaps Thomson is going old-school and playing the vets, but it's hampering a Phillies lineup that already has its share of woes with Turner's rough start, Schwarber's whiffing Bryce Harper's power outage and the absence of Rhys Hoskins. When I see a lineup card get posted ahead of a Phils game where Stott's name is nowhere to be found, I just scratch my head. 

Harrison also has reverse splits, too! In 49 plate appearances against righties, the right-handed Harrison is hitting .256. Against lefties? .189. If there's going to be a platoon (they're shouldn't be!), it should actually be the other way around.

How about letting the 25-year-old ride things out to see if he has some true All-Star potential in him?

Harrison, 36, was an All-Star back in the day with Pittsburgh, but his last All-Star appearance came in 2017. Stott was a freshman at UNLV back then hitting .294 to illustrate how much time has lapsed. Things change! 

Just for fun, let's wrap this bad boy and compare Stott's age-25 season with that of a certain former Phillies second baseman...

 StatStott (2023) Chase Utley (2005) 
Games 83 94 
AVG .301 .206 
OBP .338 .309 
SLG .422 .466 
 2B15 11 
SB 16 4

He's not going to be the best second baseman of his generation like Chase Utley, but let's see if he can be an integral part of a championship nucleus like The Man himself once was. 

Last week's winner: Nick Castellanos

Who Won the Week 2023 Tally:

Joel Embiid: 5

Bryson Stott: 3

James Harden: 3

Nick Castellanos: 2

Trea Turner: 1

Kyle Schwarber: 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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