Both players learned this week that they made the team. Bohm entered camp as the prohibitive favorite to keep his job at third base. But as he struggled early in camp, Johan Camargo, then Stott entered the picture.
Stott’s fantastic spring convinced the Phillies that they needed him.
“I just kind of went out there and tried to do what I can every day to make my case and go about it like I’ve always gone about my days since I got drafted,” Stott said. “But when they told me, it was kind of a sigh of relief. Now that it’s settled, I can go out and play.”
But how it will work? Both Stott and Bohm need to play regularly. Each is too talented to sit on the bench for an extended time.
“The only thing I’ve asked Joe [Girardi] is, if we’re going to keep Stott and Bohm, is that he can get them enough playing time,” Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. “And he said yes. Especially at the beginning of the season -- we play 23 out of 24 days. And really at a time in which … guys can’t play every day. Our middle infielders can’t play every day. They’re just not ready to do that. [Jean] Segura, Didi [Gregorius]. I don’t even know about [Rhys] Hoskins.”
So at the very least, the Phillies think they can find a way to make this work through early May.
“As time goes on, we’ll weigh it,” Dombrowski said.
Stott was the 14th overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. Last year, he climbed from High-A Jersey Shore to Double-A Reading to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, then put up big numbers in the Arizona Fall League. He continued to hit this spring and showed an ability to play anywhere in the infield. He could see time at third, short and second.
Bohm, meanwhile, was the third overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. He finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2020, then struggled last season, getting optioned to Triple-A in August before rejoining the team during the final week. Bohm could see time at third and first.
“I've been here the last two years,” Bohm said. “I never really didn't expect to not be on the team. I know what I'm capable of and the player I am. I was never worried about anything. … I just tried to run my own race. Stay in my own lane. Just get the work in every day that I needed to. We had a good plan. A good schedule every day -- early work here, in the cage, on the half field. Just getting all that stuff in. We had a plan, and I think we attacked it the right way and got to where we wanted to get. I feel much better on defense. I've been more comfortable over there. That's only going to improve. And I feel a lot better in the box than I did a week ago.”
But here is where it could be tricky: Girardi said that while baseball is a performance business, he is not going to judge a player on 10 at-bats and say they are not performing.
Ten at-bats is too small a sample size.
But while a 2-for-10 might not influence Girardi, an 8-for-10 might.
“Well, that 8-for-10, you're going to ride out that hot streak for sure,” he said. “But you have to be really cognizant of health in the beginning, I think. Guys aren't built up."
Said Bohm: “You want the best players on the team, obviously. I think everybody that can help us win is coming. We still have more guys that will most likely be a part of it coming along as well. I think it's good. I think we're in a good spot. We're going to do what we can to make it work. I don't think anybody is going to be crying about, 'Oh, how I want to play more.' I think we all have a common goal in mind. I think we're in a good spot.”