Phillies' Stott feasts in AFL action

October 27th, 2021

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Show was on full display Tuesday afternoon. The 2019 Phillies first-rounder collected four hits while driving in four and scoring twice, and he also showed off his range and arm with a couple of nice plays at shortstop as his Peoria Javelinas beat the Mesa Solar Sox, 15-7.

Stott tripled, doubled and singled twice in the first six innings before striking out and flying out to center field in his final two at-bats. He admitted that hitting for the cycle did creep into his mind.

"A little bit," he said with a chuckle. "But I was just trying to drive those guys in that got on base a bunch of times. With those guys getting on base as much as they did, it makes it easy to hit."

Stott has made offense look easy in the Arizona Fall League. He has hit safely in each of his nine games and reached base at least twice in seven of them. He's batting .424/.535/.636 with five doubles and ranks among the developmental circuit's leaders in most offensive categories.

Philadelphia's No. 2 prospect (and MLB's No. 97) hit .299/.390/.486 with 16 homers and 10 steals in 112 games during his first full pro season, rising from High-A to Triple-A this summer. He scuffled a bit in the middle of his Double-A stint, but Reading hitting coach Tyler Henson helped him snap out of it by getting him to focus on his approach.

"He was with me on staying in my zone and telling me that pitchers might try to do some stuff that might not go along with everyone else's plan," Stott said. "But if I stuck with my plan and got them up and got them in the zone, I'd have success...

"That's what I've been doing. Just really honing in on my strike zone and finding out the pitches I can do damage with. The pitches that I get myself out on are the ones I really want to work on, cut those down and kind of make them come to me."

Mesa dropped to 6-5 despite hitting four home runs. No. 22 Marlins prospect Kameron Misner went deep twice, hitting a 438-foot shot at 106 mph off a 94-mph fastball from Phillies right-hander James McArthur to open the scoring in the fourth and a 459-foot blast at 107 mph against a 92-mph heater from Braves left-hander Jake Higginbotham in the sixth.

Misner's second homer immediately followed one by Cubs No. 29 prospect Nelson Velazquez, who sent an 84-mph slider from Higginbotham on a 470-foot ride at 111 mph. Top-ranked Blue Jays prospect Gabriel Moreno drove a 92-mph fastball from Braves righty Indigo Diaz 442 feet at 106 mph in the seventh.

Other than surrendering Misner's first homer, McArthur pitched well. He needed just 67 pitches (47 strikes) to navigate five innings, allowing five hits without walking anybody while striking out four, all on low-80s sliders.

No. 4 Pirates prospect Nick Gonzalez matched Stott with four hits, and 11th-ranked Phillies prospect Logan O'Hoppe reached base five times for Peoria (4-7). No. 15 Padres prospect Eguy Rosario parked the Javelinas' lone homer -- a 413-foot drive at 101 mph off a 94-mph fastball from Blue Jays righty Cre Finfrock in the eighth -- and finished the day with three hits and six RBIs.