Trevor Story, The Forgotten Shortstop

Trevor Story is one of the minor league’s best shortstops. Today, elite shortstop prospects are plentiful. As they develop, the next generation of Major League shortstops could be spectacular. Jurickson Profar is a blemishless prospect, the perfect blend of tools and ability. Carlos Correa, last June’s top draftee, is joined by Xander Bogaerts, Javier Baez and Addison Russell to form a cadre of shortstops who could reintroduce offense to the position. Trevor Story rarely appears in the discussion, but he should.

At the plate, Story’s stance resembles Rockies’ star Troy Tulowitzki. Story begins with an upright but athletic stance; his hands are high, parallel to back ear; and his right elbow remains locked directly behind his right shoulder. Like most hitters, Story’s success is due his ability to use hands and hips. His hands stay tight to his chest and inside the ball, bringing his bat quickly into to the hitting zone. Then, his quick hips allow his hands to efficiently pull the bat through the zone. Story no longer deploys a high leg kick as he did as an amateur and his stance, once open, is now closer to neutral. Offensively, his hit tool is fringe-average, but his power projects to be above average. Together, his tools and good approach at the plate form an exciting offensive profile for a shortstop.

Story is facing “live BP” and then the Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks) in this video.

There are concerns whether many elite shortstop prospects can remain at the position, but this isn’t an issue with Trevor Story. At 20, he is already physically mature and will not outgrow the position. Mike Newman scouted Story at Ashville last year and dubbed his defense, “efficient.” I agree. In my brief look, Story took good angles to the ball and showcased impressive arm strength. His lack of athleticism will prevent him from becoming an impact defender, but he will be adequate and stay at short.

Story’s future in Colorado is uncertain due to an infield logjam, but his play may force the Rockies to make a decision soon. He will begin the year in Modesto, the Rockies’ High-A affiliate. But, Story should crush the California League and earn a promotion to Double-A this summer. If his season goes according to plan, he could play in the Arizona Fall League and be ready for Major League playing time by early next year. The Rockies’ future infield is set with Nolan Arenado (3B), Troy Tulowitzki (SS) and Josh Rutledge (2B). Without room for another infielder, either Story or Rutledge could be moved for starting pitching.

Other shortstop prospects may be more physically gifted than Story, which garners them more national attention, but his balanced profile should not be ignored. It’s difficult to find a flaw in Story’s game. His approach is sound, he hits for power and average and he can field his position. Whether Story plays another position in Colorado or shortstop elsewhere, he’ll make his debut soon and be quietly one of the more valuable players in the league.

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