BY: LYDIA VAZQUEZ
Bryson Stott is a heftier shortstop at 6’3 weighing 200 lbs. but his undeniable talent is making doubters eager to see his every move. According to ESPN Stott has moved up 15 spots from 28 to No. 5 in the first round draft pick to the major leagues.
Stott is a Junior at UNLV batting .349 with an above average arm clocking in as high as 97 MPH.
He helped high high-school Diamondbacks to four straight playoff appearances, won the 2015 conference title and earned the 2016 Southern Nevada Player of the Year Honors and well as a spot in the All-Souther Nevada first team.
Stott led his senior squad in hits, doubles, home-runs, RBI’s and total bases and slugging percentage. He hit above .336 in three of four seasons which included a senior season with .410 average, 17 doubles and three home-runs.
“My high-school coaches were some of the best in Las Vegas and having them on my side teaching me the ropes…those guys have been through it all, they know what is takes to get to the next level and just listening to them and soaking up everything they had to say was probably my biggest key.”
Batting .410 you bet Stott had options. So, why UNLV?
Bryson’s dad played football for UNLV and his mom was a cheerleader. But, Stott insists there was more to his decision.
“I thought I wanted to leave but after coming here and seeing everything they had to offer and just being here in the city where I grew up in is something I can’t beat. That was more of the reason than my parents.”
As a freshman at UNLV Stott earned Mountain West Co-Freshman of the Year and All-Conference Second Team honors while batting .249.
His sophomore year, though, he batted .365, was selected Mountain West Player of the Weel, ranked in the top 100 of nine NCAA statistical categories; led the NCAA in doubles (30) ranked second overall in doubles per game (0.51) No. 15 in hits (92) and No. 18 in toughest to strike out (14.0)
Now as a junior, leading a younger team, Stott recognizes the importance of being someone they can learn from.
“You kind of take some guys under your wing. Edarian plays up the middle with me so just having him try to see what I’m doing and what the older guys are doing is pretty important to me. You’ve got Vinny with another freshman and its pretty big to have those leadership guys to help them with their futures as well.”
Bryson Stott has quickly transformed into a star and it won’t take more than a google search to realize he may soon be UNLV’s fourth ever 1st round draft pick. But, for him, getting to play on the diamond has been more than baseball, but life lessons from those who’ve been there.
“Stolte, Higgy, Greg… all those guys, they don’t just help us become better baseball players, it’s life after baseball. Just listening to those guys and taking in everything they say and actually doing it… moving forward in our life, in our baseball careers, it’s probably a big thing I try and take in every day.”