Will Didi Gregorius or Bryson Stott be the Phillies’ starting shortstop in 2022?
Can Bryson Stott clinch the starting shortstop gig for the 2022 Philadelphia Phillies?
President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski essentially challenged him to do so last fall, when he gave him a hefty assignment:
"“I’ve told him, ‘You should come to spring training with the mindset of trying to win a spot with the big league club.”"
Then, the lockout happened, and everything got thrown up in the air. Or rather, everything got shoved into a tiny dark closet, never to see the light of day again.
Except for minor leaguers.
As MiLB is not part of the union (a very problematic topic for another day), anyone not on the 40-man roster is not restricted by the lockout. Ergo, Stott reported to minor-league minicamp at Carpenter Complex in Clearwater (say that five times fast) this week and began proving himself.
Meanwhile, Didi Gregorius is on the outside looking in; as the Phillies’ current and possibly soon-to-be-former shortstop, he is locked out. He doesn’t seem to mind, though, as he’s been reuniting with his former Yankees teammates.
Despite the prospect’s rapid rise through the farm system, Dombrowski was confident in Stott’s abilities last year. This week, the future big-leaguer sounded confident when asked if he thought he could win the job:
"“I mean, yeah, absolutely,” he said. “You always love competition, and you always think you’re going to win, and you never want to be scared of anybody or do anything different because somebody is watching or somebody isn’t watching. So I’m just going to go out and see what happens.”"