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This one is a little different.
Story will be the starting shortstop for the Rockies in 2018 (that is, unless Brendan Rodgers hits like .800 in Spring Training and even then, the Rockies probably won’t want to put him in the major leagues yet).
Story struggled last year, hitting .239. However, he still managed to put together 24 home runs and 82 RBI.
In his injury-shortened rookie campaign in 2016, Story hit a much better .272 while crushing 27 home runs and 72 RBI’s in only 97 games.
When he was injured, he was on pace for a record-breaking rookie year, leading the National League in home runs.
Thomas Harding of MLB.com recently wrote a great piece on Story’s goal to improve in 2018. Harding also mentioned that Story has more home runs and RBI’s at this point in his career than did Todd Helton, Matt Holiday, Troy Tulowitztki, or Nolan Arenado.
If we account for his injuries and divide his career numbers into a 162-game average, Story hits 34 home runs and drives in 103 runs. Keep in mind those numbers are based solely off of what Story has already done and do not take into consideration any improvement from his play of 2016-2017.
If Story is able to put last season’s struggles behind him and develop into the player he is capable of being, he could easily finish the season hitting cleanup behind Nolan Arenado for a playoff-bound Rockies team.
Just imagine one more home-grown slugger going homer-for-homer with Arenado and Blackmon.
Throw Dahl and McMahon in behind him and a strong lineup begins to take shape.
Granted, it’s a gamble, but the same could be said about signing a free agent with a big price tag. With the arrival of spring training, its time to let these kids prove themselves.
If they can’t handle it, there’s a good chance the Rockies can find someone to fill their place (who knows, maybe JD Martinez will still be a free agent in June!).
If it turns out they are indeed ready to succeed at the big-league level and you pair that with the Rockies young pitching, then Colorado has a chance to be one of baseball’s best young teams for many years to come.