What’s Up With Trevor Story?

When seeing Colorado Rockies shortstop prospect Trevor Story in person, very little about his all-around game strikes one as sexy beyond his current triple slash line of .283/.395/.535. However, as a teenager in the South Atlantic League, Story’s numbers are on par with the best middle infield prospects in the game which has led to many questions about his ceiling and comparisons to Nolan Arenado, the current king of the Rockies prospect mountain.

Overshadowed by uber-prospect Dylan Bundy during my trip to Asheville, Story stood out on a day where I made a pact with myself to pay Asheville prospects little mind. With my only receiving a single look at the Delmarva Shorebirds (Baltimore Orioles) after a rain out ruined my chances at multiple looks, my ability to catch the Tourists a couple of times in Rome during the month of May meant I could circle back around for coverage at a later date.

However, with nothing better to do in Asheville, I found myself at the stadium at 3:00 p.m. for a seven o’clock first pitch and settled in to watch Story put in a full day of defensive reps and batting practice. On full display was a strong all-around set of tools supported by a high level of baseball skill. And while no one aspect of his all-around game had the “wow” factor of Arenado’s hit tool when I scouted him in 2010, the sum of the parts left Story in contention for the best shortstop prospect I’ve seen in person not named Jurickson Profar.

When taking defensive reps, Story worked with the intensity of big leaguer as he practiced precision footwork up the middle. At a time when many young players would simply move from activity to activity with little attention to detail, the shortstop left me with the impression that he had a fantastic work ethic – important in gauging whether or not a player will max out his respective set of tools.. From taking proper angles deep in the hole to quick turns around the bag at second base, Story was efficient in his baseball movements and looked the part of a shortstop. With his being more of an average runner with a frame to add size, that footwork and field awareness will be key to his projecting as a middle infielder long term.

Additionally, talk of Story to third base seems rushed at this point after seeing him go deep to both his left and right in game action to to field balls few shortstops are able to at the South Atlantic League level. With Troy Tulowitzki under contract into Story’s prime years, second base seems a more likely landing spot at this point given his range and footwork. Of course the potential for Story to eventually become a valuable trade chip should he gain a bit more traction as a true shortstop prospect may also be tempting to Colorado.

On offense, Story admittedly didn’t do much as he not only hit towards the bottom of the batting order, but went down swinging against uber-prospect Dylan Bundy in his first plate appearance. From seeing how he handled the bat during batting practice, one can’t help but be impressed with his ability to stay closed and keep his hands inside the ball. Story is not a power hitter per se, but his patient approach and compact swing will allow him to consistently barrel the baseball. And as a contact recently stated, “50 power with solid barrel contact will hit more home runs than 70 power with monster strikeout totals because of the ability to consistently make hard contact”. Story may wind up being a strong example of this in practice compared to a Wilin Rosario who has more raw power but no discernible plate discipline.

With two upcoming four game sets at the Rome Braves before the end of the month, ample opportunity exists for me to continue coverage on Trevor Story and gain more insight from game situations. And while I’m extremely bullish on the young shortstop after a single, albeit extended look, much of the story on Trevor Story is still left to be written.

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Mike Newman is the Owner/Managing Editor ofROTOscouting, a subscription site focused on baseball scouting, baseball prospects and fantasy baseball. Follow me onTwitter. Likeus on Facebook.Subscribeto my YouTube Channel.

14 Responses to “What’s Up With Trevor Story?”

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  1. Marc says:

    Story was #26 on my Big Board last year. True story.

    u mad?

    Hebner was also 38 for me despite being like 175 on BA’s.

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  2. DD says:

    Title of this should be What’s the Story with Trevor Story?

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  3. odbsol says:

    “per se” not “per say”

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    • DD says:

      Hey, Mr. Richard Say was one of the most respected scouts I’ve ever come across!

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    • Mike Newman says:

      per se, per se, per se, per se, per se, per se, per se. Okay, maybe now the grammar gods will forgive me and I can get on with the scouting.

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  4. Bob says:

    Is Story’s potential keeping the Rockies from searching for a serious long-term solution at 2B?

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  5. Excellent writeup.

    Trevor Story entered pro ball with questions about his bat. He surprised in 2011 with outstanding production. Two realities – it was in the Pioneer League, a hitter’s league but he was but 18 and he hit, period. He bloomed where he was planted and that was all he could control.

    Story’s prospect status thus rose considerably.

    This year he has held his own and his plate discipline has been acceptable, a plus-marker for his age. If he continues to do that and “barrels” up the bat then yes, as Mike writes, and as the scout shared with him, there will be some more power that comes eventually.

    While I think it is too early to see Story as an eventual solid-regular or better as a MLB prospect, it is also clear that he is a promising talent.

    I agree that he has great value in that he could play SS or 2B (while also potentially being a 3B if necessary). His bat would obviously play best at SS or 2B (where Josh Rutledge, now at Double-A Tulsa, could end up).

    Agree again with Mike, that Story could become a valuable trade chip. To me, if Rutledge continues to develop and ends up playing second, and hitting, for the Rockies, and Troy Tulowitzki stays healthy at shortstop, then Story could be a primary or secondary trade piece to bring a quality return.

    So a lot of potential positives.

    Colorado Rockies Prospects Report (google)

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  6. Jamie says:

    Hey Mike,

    Great article. However, next time, don’t be so pissy about being corrected on your grammar. You made a mistake, no big deal, but how about, “Ooops, missed that. Thanks for pointing out the error.”

    If you’re so eager to get on with scouting, then I’d recommend you stop writing. You do great work. You have a great job. The next time someone corrects your grammar, suck it up. As a regular reader, I know I would respect you more if you handled it better. Your reader didn’t insult your mother; he wrote five words that might help someone take your writing more seriously. Some of us get hung up on grammar. I know it matters to me.

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  7. Simon says:

    It matters to me that people don’t leave whiny comments about grammar. Anyone who actually takes Mike’s writing less seriously because of a grammatical error is being a bit silly.

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  8. Jamie says:

    Uhhhhh, then quit leaving whiny comments. If a WRITER doesn’t take his grammar seriously, then he is in the wrong profession. Call me silly, whiny, petty, whatever; a writer who doesn’t take his writing seriously is less of a writer, in my humble opinion.

    As I already said, I thought it was a great piece, written by a very talented writer and scout. He does a great job and is probably my second favorite writer on Fangraphs. But by making shitty retorts to his readers, on a blog where people are expected to reply, he alienates people. He may not mind. You may not mind. Apparently the other person who made the comment minds, and so do I.

    I love it when people defend improper grammar. That is your prerogative, but I think it is unintelligent and misguided. To me, it’s as silly as a sacrifice bunt in innings 1-8. However, if you’d like to further this conversation, please don’t hesitate to send me an email, no need to tie up the comment section on Mike’s post.

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