Trevor Story undoubtedly had a great 2018 season. That lead might be the most duh worthy sentence by far on this entire site. But if you consider Story’s career this time last year, that outcome would have been hard to predict. With a .239 BA and nearly 200 strikeouts in 2017, the roar for Brendan Rodgers to come up way too early was deafening.
Story only responded to that with having one of the best seasons at shortstop in Colorado Rockies history. Rightfully so, he was voted by the players as a 2018 Players Choice Awards Outstanding Player NL finalist. This is how he stacked up against fellow finalists Christian Yelich and Javy Baez.
Let’s start first with the middle-infielder comparison Baez. Story batted .291 with a 5.6 WAR a total nearly higher than his first two years combined. Baez is a more similar comparison this season playing shortstop out of necessity as Addison Russell was suspended for conduct off the field. Baez has a better overall defensive WAR at 1.7 while Story sits at .9. Both made their first All-Star appearance in 2018 and both are a huge factor why their clubs played each other in the Wild Card Playoff game. Story had more hits in that game than Baez, while the Cubs utility infielder might be remembered more for his hugs. Baez hit .290 this season with 34 homers and 111 RBIs compared to Story’s 37 and 108 RBIs. You could say Baez is the more versatile infielder playing more time at second while in a coin toss Story could take the better hitter award. This player comparison is close.
Christian Yelich is where the comparison gets a little more difficult. The Milwaukee Brewers acquired Yelich from the Marlins in the offseason as part of Jeter’s clean sweep in Miami. Boy was it a steal. Yelich single handedly may have pushed this team into the playoffs when they were so close in 2017 just behind the Rockies in the second Wild Card spot. Yelich’s second-half numbers sent him over the edge as the best player in the National League in 2018. He hit .367 with 25 of his 36 homers in the second half.
He won the first NL Batting title in Brewers history while also making his first appearance in the All-Star game along with the other finalist for this award. The Cubs were leading this division for 75 days until the Brewers beat them in game 163. Yelich played all of the outfield positions spending the most time in left but it’s fair to say that Story wins with his glove. He wasn’t the most potent batter in the playoffs but he’s the reason they won the NL Central and an integral part piece to a club that was one game away from the World Series. Yelich is the likely NL MVP but really one of the few that might be better than Story in 2018.
Every game, Story is making the Troy Tulowitzki trade seem more and more like a no-brainer. Especially with the salary space saved. Not to mention Story hit the most homers ever for a Rockies shortstop this year. He had arguably one of the best seasons at shortstop in Rockies history and will be at the position for some time to come. Will it be enough to earn him the honor of the 2018 Players Choice Award? Who do you got?
Cast your vote at mlbplayers.com.