We asked Story about the change that entails more of a mental shift than anything but has revealed itself particularly in Story’s smashing of breaking and off-speed pitches. There, he has seen a more than 100 point increase in xwOBA (excepted weighted On Base Average) than last year.
He’s also still nailing fastballs and is just one of two handfuls of guys who has above-average run values on the six pitches thrown most often in baseball: Four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, slider, changeup, curveball and cutter.
Everywhere you look, no matter what aspect of the game, Story has improved it.
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“His plate discipline has gotten a lot better, he made strides and this year he’s made more,” catcher Chris Iannetta, who was on the D-Backs last year and now sits a few lockers away from Story, told Rox Pile. “Speed and power speaks for itself and more people are finding out about the speed now. And, defensively, it’s some of the best shortstop defense I’ve seen. His range is incredible, he makes extremely athletic plays and has a cannon.”
Story has only enhanced himself defensively as Inside Edge has him up on almost all types of plays across the board. While his defense isn’t quite at the level of the shortstop before him, the overall play is drawing the comparison to Troy Tulowitzki.
“They’re both outstanding players, at the top of their game when they played in Colorado,” Iannetta said. “Story is still developing into the player he’s going to be. He’s phenomenal defensively and the numbers are great offensively. He’s just gonna keep getting better over the next few years.”
A good September from Story could spell a higher fWAR figure for the season than Tulowitzki has ever amassed in a single year.
"“Tulo was such a mentor to me and helped me out so much with the game,” Story said. “He taught me how to work and go about my business. It’s cool to have those comparisons.”"
Tulowtizki was on a Hall of Fame pace before injuries derailed his career. And the year Story is having is in line with some of the very best seasons in baseball history.