MLB Network whiffs again, leaves Bryson Stott out of Top 10 second base rankings

In another head-scratching Top 10 list, the Phillies second baseman got no love from MLB Network. Why was Stott left off, and what can he do to be included in the conversation soon?
Philadelphia Phillies Bryson Stott missed out on MLB Network's Top 10 second basemen for 2024
Philadelphia Phillies Bryson Stott missed out on MLB Network's Top 10 second basemen for 2024 / Elsa/GettyImages

Bryson Stott was left out of MLB Network's Top 10 second basemen in baseball. The 26-year-old may have endeared himself to Philadelphia Phillies fans over the last two seasons, but the folks over at the league's main media network aren't convinced yet.

Let's take a quick look at the list and see why Stott should, or shouldn't, be on it.

Stott's defense can't be the problem

Defensively, he is there. By most objective and even subjective standards, Stott deserves to be talked about as one of the best fielding second basemen around. Only two players (Giménez and Semien) on the list finished 2023 with a better defensive rating on FanGraphs than Stott's 11.3.

Combine that with his National League-leading 4.9 UZR (ultimate zone rating), and the statistical argument is easy to make for Stott being one of the best defenders at his position. He also passes the eye test.

Stott has taken a huge step forward since his debut in 2021 by becoming an all-around dependable infield glove, becoming a Gold Glove finalist last year. When Trea Turner came in and forced him to second, Stott showed the maturity and versatility to make the adjustments and keep developing into a future All-Star. The partnership formed between Turner and Stott has led to some incredible moments on its own.

Is Stott's bat the problem?

Offensively, his slash line of .280/.328/.415 is good, if not great, not to mention he finished seventh among second basemen with a 3.9 fWAR.

Phillies faithful know he's capable of being the man for the moment, and his start to the 2023 season teased fans with a season of .300 hitting. He can also get around the bases pretty well, with only Nico Hoerner on that list having more than Stott's 31 swiped bags.

It's also worth noting that the guy is always ready to play. His 144 starts at second base were top five in the majors. Stott shows up game in and game out, and at 26 years old now, let's hope his iron man status remains a trait for his entire career.

Where can Bryson Stott improve?

So where are the issues then? Well, clearly in the power department. We all know he wasn't educated in the Schwarbarian method of "see a ball, mash a ball," but nobody needed him to be. What we do need, however, is a few more line drives and hard-hit balls to go with his patient and hard fought plate appearances.

Going into September last season, Stott hadn't hit a baseball at 110 mph or harder. Nobody expects him to put up home run numbers like Chase Utley, but when your second base competition is Mookie Betts and his 40 or so dingers each season, you'll need to bring some pop to the party. Some improvement in his power stroke and building on his total of 14 from 2023 would go a long way toward seeing his name on that list next January.

Of course, there are names on MLB Network's Top 10 list who could benefit from a little offensive boost just as much, if not more, than Stotty. But hey, lists like this are arbitrary, subjective, and completely debatable. That's the point.

Phillies players have been known to read into things heard in the media and use them as motivation, so maybe this is just the sort of slight that Bryson Stott needs going into his third full year in The Show. Don't be surprised to see "Not Top 10" t-shirts with the Vegas kid's face on them around Philadelphia should this be his big coming-out year.

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