Colorado Rockies: Trevor Story’s potentially historic season
By Jake Shapiro
Story is closing in one becoming just the fifth shortstop in baseball history to have a 30 home run-30 stolen base season. He would be just the third to do so with a .300 batting average and those stats put him in the conversation of the 1998 season pieced together by Alex Rodriguez, given Story most likely will also end up north of 100 RBI.
So how close is Story? He needs two more long balls, five more swipes, eight more runs batted in and in the neighborhood of 33 hits (assuming he has about 100 at-bats left, given the Rockies have 24 more games).
"“Very impressive (what he’s doing,)” Bud Black said. “If it were easy to do, all 400 position players would do it. We’ve been saying three hits out of 10 is impressive for years and he’s on the brink of that. I’m really proud of Trev, watching him work over the past year and a half where his average can climb because he’s putting the ball in play.”"
It is important to note that both Javy Baez and Manny Machado are closing in on 30-30 seasons as well but Baez has played a ton of second and third base this year. Meanwhile, Machado’s other worldly defense hasn’t translated as well to shortstop and he’s still quite a few stolen bases away.
Since Story’s debut on Opening Day in 2016, only one shortstop in the game has matched his 79 home run output … and that’s Francisco Lindor, who also only has one RBI more than Story (247) to lead MLB shortstops in that span. This means that Story is only rivaled by one shortstop in his power and his ability to drive runs in.
But anyone in the Rockies clubhouse would pump the brakes on that and that’s because his defense mirrors his offense and the primary job of his spot on the field is defense.
His 16 defensive runs saved since debuting in 2016 is third among National League shortstops behind Addison Russell and Brandon Crawford … the last two Gold Glove winners.
"“We can identify an offensive player in a lot of ways. Power is something that is dangerous when you’re the opponent because that one swing can change the game,” Black said. “The ability to get on base via the base hit — your batting average, or via the walk — that’s a great skill and he’s getting a little better there. The walks are up, strikeouts are down and his ability to get on base is getting him to being a very solid offensive player. And that’s what you hope from your young players where you’re the type of force where if they don’t throw strikes, you walk. If they do, you do damage with an extra-base hit and he’s getting there. I don’t want to say he’s there. That’s unfair, but he’s made great strides.”"
Next time you look at Trevor Story, look twice. It’s rare across baseball history to have a shortstop this talented at every aspect of the game. Even considering Colorado’s last guy, Story is special. Given the nature of Story’s unassuming sophomore campaign, 2018 has had an MVP-like twist that’s just a few weeks away from a happy ending.