Colorado Rockies: Just how good is Trevor Story this season?
By Luke Mullins
Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story is having a career season. Earlier this summer, I argued that he was the best shortstop in the National League. But as we head into August, he continues to raise his game to another level, making a case to be regarded among the most talented players in baseball.
The league has been well aware of his immense power potential since he announced his presence in the big leagues with a record seven home runs in his first six games in a legendary rookie season that was abruptly ended after just 97 games due to a thumb injury. At the time of his injury, his 27 home runs led the National League. He missed out on winning Rookie of the Year that season to the Dodgers’ Corey Seager, but this year he has a chance to get back at Los Angeles by helping the Colorado Rockies dethrone their division rivals for the first time since the San Francisco Giants won the West in 2012.
Story’s power still has the ability to frighten any Major League starter. However, teams would be setting themselves up to be blindsided if they thought that his power was the only threatening part of his game. Story is well-developed in every area of the game and he is only getting better the longer the season goes on (he already has four home runs and 10 RBI in just six games in August).
Maybe the most overlooked area of his game is his speed. It is not often that a player with the kind of power Story possesses (tied for seventh-most home runs in the NL with 24, fourth in RBI with 79, and sixth-best in slugging percentage at .551) can also steal bases. But its not just about base-stealing ability, Story has been clocked as one of the fastest players in the game. His average 29.7 feet per second sprint speed is fifth-best in the NL, just 0.1 feet/second behind the Braves’ Ronald Acuna, Jr.
Our own Jake Shapiro talked about Story’s speed in this article.
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In addition to his incredible speed, another big reason for Story almost doubling his previous career-high in stolen bases with 14 by early August is his improved batting average. Story is hitting just under .290, which, if it continued, would be a huge improvement over his .239 batting average in 2017. All signs indicate it will continue to climb, considering Story has hit better with the start of every month, including hitting .333 in June and .358 in July. If he keeps that up, he could end the season with an average north of .300.
Story’s speed, power and ability to hit for average make him one of the biggest offensive threats in the National League, but much like teammate Nolan Arenado, Story can hurt you on both sides of the ball. He has the range to make plays like this diving catch and the arm strength to make this off-balance throw.
Story should win his first Silver Slugger this season. There’s a good chance he’ll also add a Gold Glove. Despite the attention he’s received, Story might still be the most underrated position player on the Rockies. But for those who watch him every day, there’s no question that he’s not only the best shortstop in the NL, he’s also one of the best five-tool players in the game.