Colorado Rockies‘ infield prospect Trevor Story is a player to watch in the coming seasons thanks to an important decision that looms for the franchise.
Trevor Story won’t have an impact for the Rockies this season. Troy Tulowitzki likely won’t be traded this season. That said, as we look ahead to seasons beyond 2015, it’s hard not to link the importance of Story to the trade rumors that will always follow Tulowitzki.
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It’s a simple question, really: who plays shortstop if the Rockies trade Troy Tulowitzki? As long as an unexpected trade doesn’t happen this year, the answer to that question in the future very well might be Trevor Story.
Here’s the important part of this conversation. We aren’t asking Trevor Story to be a star. We are just asking him to be a real-life, capable big league shortstop. And based on a report from Bernie Pleskoff of MLB.com, it sounds like Story is on track to be just that:
"While Story doesn’t have any one outstanding impact tool, his overall game takes advantage of his ability to make good, consistent contact at the plate and drive the ball from foul pole to foul pole. Using an upright stance with little extraneous movement, he has quick hands through the ball, and in the games I witnessed, he recognized pitches well…Ultimately, his combination of raw power and good speed could lead to a season of 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a home park such as Coors Field."
That’s more than competent: 20/20 from the shortstop position is an impact player. Nobody is going to replace Troy Tulowitzki if he does depart in a trade, but we would sure be thrilled with 20/20 from that spot.
An equally pressing question: can Story handle the defensive burden at shortstop? Pleskoff seems to think that Story projects to be OK defensively in the big leagues:
"Defensively, Story has the arm strength and accuracy to play anywhere in the infield. His range at shortstop is good enough to remain at that position."
In the end, posing this situation in the long-term as “Trevor Story will replace Troy Tulowitzki” is a bit oversimplified. It is important, however, to know that the Rockies have options with the kind of upside that Story offers when it comes to replacing a top-1o player like Tulowitzki.
I don’t think that the Rockies should trade Troy Tulowitzki, but I also understand that those rumors will never go away. Because a Tulo trade will continue to linger over the Rockies as a possibility, players like Trevor Story are important pieces in the farm system.
In that context, it is great to read a positive report on Story’s progress like this one.