Phillies draft Bryson Stott with first round selection
The Phillies again targeted a bat with their first-round pick in the annual MLB draft on Monday night, selecting Bryson Stott with the 14th overall pick.

A junior shortstop out of UNLV, Stott led the Rebels this past season with a .356 batting average to go along with a 1.085 OPS, and 16 stolen bases. He also hit 10 dingers while playing solid defense.

"We’ve got a polished young player here who has outstanding makeup," amateur scouting director Johnny Almaraz said in a conference call on Monday night. "I met with him in the winter for about an hour and loved everything about him. I was very, very happy to get him."

Stott was named the Mountain West's Tony Gwynn Co-Player of the Year and was selected to the MW's All-Conference First Team as well as the MW Championship's All-Tournament Team. He also was named to Collegiate Baseball's NCAA Division I All-America Third Team and is a finalist for the Brooks Wallace Award and a semifinalist for USA Baseball's Golden Spikes Award.

"He’s an advanced player," Almaraz said. "We feel that he’s going to have a very favorable timeline as far as getting to the big leagues is concerned. We think he’s going to fit into our system and do what he needs to do, both offensively and defensively."

Almaraz also praised Stott's versatility, saying he believes he can play every infield position but projects best as a "frontline" shortstop that can be counted on for strong defense and 10-to-15 homers every year.

"You dream of that as a kid," Stott said of hearing his name called. "I watched it at home with my family and some of my best friends. Just to be able to hear my name -- and breathe again -- was pretty awesome."

Adding more intrigue to the pick is Stott's connection to Las Vegas native and current superstar Bryce Harper. As it turns out, Harper's sister was a cheerleader on a team that was led by Stott's mother in high school.

"He always told me just to have fun," Stott said of his relationship with Harper. "He says when you have fun, everything is going to come your way. Just being able to watch him and what he does on that stage, and how he works in the offseason and during the season, is a really helpful thing for me."
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

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