Trevor Story: Rested and Ready for Colorado’s Playoff Push

Jul 15, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story (27) throws to first base for a double play as Atlanta Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte (11) is out at second base in the second inning of their game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 15, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story (27) throws to first base for a double play as Atlanta Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte (11) is out at second base in the second inning of their game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /
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Trevor Story has a simple message for anyone who is counting the Colorado Rockies out of the playoff hunt: Don’t do it.

Before Story and the Rockies started an important seven-game homestand on Monday against the Tampa Bay Rays, the rookie shortstop said the team’s goal of reaching the playoffs is still very much in reach.

“I think it gives you a little extra boost, knowing you’re still in it,” Story said. “We’re going to do our best to go out there and compete. We know what we can do as a team and we’re a very tight-knit group. It gives you some incentive every day.

“It’s exciting to have this in my first year. The first month, you’re just trying to get acquainted and get used to the team. Now it’s exciting to be in it and have the chance for some goals that are within reach.”

Story took some time off during the All-Star break to get refocused and reenergized for what will be an interesting start to the second half of the season.

“I just took a little trip up to Vail and stayed off my feet all four days and rested,” Story said. “(Starting the second half) There’s no additional pressure. I think we take it day by day. We’re a very confident team. We have the highest expectations for ourselves. There’s no additional pressure.”

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Story’s 21 homers in the first half tied for the most all-time by a rookie before the break. His 57 RBI was the seventh-highest mark in National League history for a rookie. He currently leads all rookies in homers (21), RBI (57), and slugging percentage (.540). It was a great first half, but Story says there is still improvement to be had.

“There are always things you can pick out to get better at. Mine is to be even more consistent,” Story said. “That’s a big thing for me, and to try to have team at-bats every at-bat and just help the team in any way I can.”

Story enters Monday night’s game having hit safely in five of his past six games, a stretch where he’s batted .318. He hasn’t homered since July 7 but is maintaining his mantra of consistency, both at the plate and in the batting cage before the game.

“I wouldn’t say there’s was one thing in particular that I focus on mechanically that I could say gives me power,” Story said. “Ever since I was growing up, I’ve always had decent bat speed. A lot of guys leg kick to get power. I have a little movement in my hands to get some power and an abbreviated leg kick but a lot of it comes from hand speed and bat speed.

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“Sometimes you don’t have to supply any power at all. You have guys throwing harder than ever now so sometimes you just have to put the barrel on it. You see a lot more velocity consistently every game. You just put the barrel on it and let them do the work.”

Story is also becoming more and more known throughout Major League Baseball as a guy who can hit to all fields. It’s been a consistent theme all season, as Story showed in some of the early games in the campaign when what would’ve been homers in the past at Coors Field were relegated to inside-the-park extra-base hits.

“The stronger and older you get, you start to get more power to the opposite field,” Story said. I’ve always hit the ball hard the other way but recently I’ve seen that I’ve been hitting them hard enough that they go out.”

Looking at this chart, you can see Story’s distribution of hits so far this season. He’s certainly evolved into an equal opportunity hitter to all fields.

Next: Colorado Predictions for the Season's Second Half

Trevor Story and the Rockies struggled to score the final two games in Atlanta. If they can reignite their offense and reclaim their home field dominance, the excitement in the Colorado clubhouse is only going to grow.