Desert Oasis High graduate and UNLV shortstop Bryson Stott already has a personal relationship with Las Vegas native and Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper.
He could soon develop a professional relationship with him.
Stott, 21, was selected by the Phillies with the No. 14 overall pick on Monday in the Major League Baseball draft, fulfilling a lifelong dream and providing him with a new one — to play alongside the slugging Harper, a longtime family friend.
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) June 4, 2019
The 6-foot-3-inch, 200-pound Stott wasn’t drafted after a standout career with the Diamondbacks, but excelled for three years with the Rebels and hit .356 with a career-high 10 home runs, 36 RBIs and 61 runs this season.
He added 20 doubles, 16 stolen bases and earned third-team All-American honors for the second consecutive spring.
“Just to hear my name was a blessing with the people around me that probably mean the most to me in my life,” Stott said. “For everyone to experience that with me was awesome.”
Stott is the son of former UNLV quarterback Derek Stott. Stott emerged in 2017 as one of the top freshman in the country, batting .294 with 29 RBIs and 31 runs. He played in the Northwoods League the following summer, batting .352, and said it was then he began believing he could one day become a major league player.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) June 4, 2019
“Playing all those games and the success that I had, I thought I could carry that into my sophomore year,” he said.
And he did.
Stott as a sophomore hit .365 with 32 RBIs, 61 runs and 30 doubles. He played last summer for the Collegiate National Team in several all-star games and drew additional attention from pro scouts as he prepped for his junior year.
“(Team USA), it was an unbelievable experience with them,” he said. “That kind of put in perspective that anything could really happen.”
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) June 4, 2019
Stott watched the draft at his childhood home with his friends and family, and waited patiently to hear from a major league team. The Phillies telephoned him shortly before announcing their first-round selection, and he watched MLB commissioner Rob Manfred call his name a couple minutes later.
His mother, Shana, cried tears of joy while the rest of the room celebrated.
She coaches cheerleading, and coached Harper’s sister in high school — making his selection by Philadelphia all the more special.
“We were just all kind of ready for his name to be called,” said Shana Stott, who cheered at UNLV. “We were getting anxious. He was getting anxious. It was good. It was a good feeling. It was exciting because the people closest to him are here for it.”
Two more locals were also drafted Monday.
Arbor View High graduate Nick Quintana went to the Detroit Tigers with the 47th pick. The third baseman played collegiately at Arizona, and hit .342 with 15 home runs and 77 RBIs for the Wildcats this season.
Basic High alum Ryne Nelson was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 56th pick. The right-hander pitched collegiately at Oregon, and posted a 3-4 record with a 4.29 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 65 innings.
“There’s so much baseball talent here,” Shana Stott added. “It’s good to see Vegas baseball on the map. It’s a cool thing.”