CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The 14th overall pick in the 2019 Draft, shortstop Bryson Stott was UNLV's earliest selection since Donovan Osborn went 13th in 1990. He has the upside for solid tools across the board and batted .295/.391/.494 in his pro debut last summer, mostly at short-season Williamsport. The Phillies' No. 3 prospect impressed the brass in an intrasquad game this spring, falling behind two strikes to Jake Arrieta before fouling off several pitches and tripling to the opposite field.
MLB.com: Coming out of high school, did you draw a lot of interest from pro teams at that point, or was it pretty much a done deal that you were going to UNLV, being from the area and a lot of your family went there too?
Stott: I had a couple of teams here and there, but I kind of just knew that I wanted to go to school there and that would be my best option.
MLB.com: How much do you think your Team USA experience helped put you on the map as a prospect? There were two other shortstops who wound up going in the first round (Will Wilson, Braden Shewmake), and you were the starting shortstop in the club in the summer of 2018.
Stott: Absolutely. You play with the best kids in the country, and we had the first pick [Adley Rutschman], the third pick [Andrew Vaughn], the eighth pick [Josh Jung], you name it and they were on that team. Playing alongside Shewmake, who went to the Braves in the first round, and Will Wilson, who also went in the first round, was awesome. Playing with those guys all over the country was great.
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MLB.com: How much did that make you a better player? Did you take away anything in particular from that experience?
Stott: Yes -- the way some guys just went about what they did every day and how they approached the cages and certain things of that nature. It was a little different than some of the other things you might see growing up. Seeing how they went about their business was my biggest takeaway.
MLB.com: Your power increased throughout your college career, with you leading NCAA Division I with 30 doubles as a sophomore and doubling your previous career total with 10 homers as a junior. Was that a case of you getting more physically mature or developing as a hitter or some combination?
Stott: I think it was a combination. I really focused in the weight room and I really didn't lift in high school, so when I got to college it was kind of like weight room, weight room, weight room. It started translating towards the end of my college career and into the summer.
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MLB.com: In terms of the Draft, you probably had a sense of roughly where you were going, but did you know the Phillies were taking you? How nerve-wracking was Draft Day?
Stott: I kind of had the general area but you never know with the Draft because somebody could take somebody and then it messes up everything. It was funny, two or three months before the Draft, Bryce [Harper] was telling me that if I'm there at 14, the Phillies are going to take me. I was just like, "Yeah whatever, man." Each pick was like, that wasn't me, that wasn't me, so when you finally hear your name called, it's awesome.
MLB.com: How well did you know Bryce before you got here?
Stott: I knew him well. His sister, she cheered for my mom in high school [Shana Stott coaches at Eldorado High in Las Vegas]. I kind of grew up watching him in club ball and stuff like that through high school. As I've gotten older, we've built a relationship and it's just awesome having a role model that you can look up to like that.
MLB.com: So I guess it's kind of cool coming to the Phillies and you already know a big leaguer.
Stott: Absolutely. When it happened on Draft Day, he called me and said, 'I told you so.' It was just kind of funny. Growing up in Vegas, you always looked up to him and had the eyeblack on your face and stuff of that nature. You wanted to be him when you were playing in Little League and club ball. To see him in the clubhouse or see him on the same field, it's a dream come true.
MLB.com: You got off to a little bit of a slow start in pro ball and then you took off after the first month or so. Anything that changed? Any adjustments you made? Was it a matter of getting acclimated?
Stott: I would say acclimated but I kind of got out of my strengths. I was really trying to pull everything. No matter what pitch, it was like, I'm going to pull this one. I didn't really get into hitting the ball where it's pitched like I've always done my whole life. When I got back to that, that's when I really took off.
MLB.com: If you were scouting yourself, how would you describe your game?
Stott: I feel like I'm trying to do everything the right way. I try to field and hit and put all of my attention into every single part of the game. I try to go out there and do everything right and try to be the best that I can.
MLB.com: What do you think is the best part of your game and what do you think you need to work on the most?
Stott: I'd say probably my offensive game. I love hitting, I love running the bases and I take pride in the bases. Any way to get on base, whether it be a walk, hit by pitch, a hit, anything of that nature. I really love the offensive part. I feel like your first step in the field, baserunning, any of that stuff could improve. That's something that I always work on.
MLB.com: What did you do this offseason to prepare for your first Spring Training? You have your relationship with Bryce, so I guess you had a better idea of what to expect than some guys might.
Stott: I've gone to the same gym for the past four years, so I really hit that hard. I conditioned a lot, I swung a lot, I took a lot of ground balls. They told us to take a couple of weeks off, but I just got so bored, I just started hitting a lot earlier than probably some people. Like I said, I love hitting, so that's just something that I do.
MLB.com: What was it like getting a couple of at-bats this Spring Training in big league games?
Stott: That's the first step. It was awesome. You see those guys on TV and you see them growing up, so to be on the same field was awesome. It's the first step and there's still a long road to go.
Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.