If secret facilities existed where prototypical baseball players were created; one might wonder if one of those laboratories wasn’t in Irving, Texas. Trevor Story is a five-tool bionic infielder seemingly destined to become a first division infielder at the major league level. Still only 19 years of age, Story has the disposition and the abilities to turn into an all-star caliber player. At the present time, this story is still in production with the next chapter to be written in Modesto, California. There, in one of the poorest cities in the United States, Trevor Story is likely to emerge as an elite prospect with gaudy Cal League enhanced statistics.
Forty-four players were selected before Story was drafted by the Rockies in a historical 2011 draft. After the 2011 season, Story was ranked as Baseball America’s top prospect coming out of the Pioneer League. In 2012, Trevor Story led the Sally with 43 doubles and finished in the league’s top 10 in runs scored, triples, homers, and slugging percentage. As one of the youngest players in his league, Story posted a triple slash line of .277/.367/.505. He spent much of the season hitting either leadoff or second in the Asheville lineup. The vast majority of his games came at shortstop with a good sprinkle at third.
Like his childhood heroes Josh Hamilton and Derek Jeter, Story doesn’t suffer from a lack of hustle. During approximately 13 games against Rome and Greenville spread out over the span of the 2012 season, Story displayed definite hustle both on the basepaths and in the field. In these Milb.tv accessible games, Story was aggressive in taking leads and ran hard on nearly every grounder. On more than one occasion, he made routine groundball outs turn into close calls at first. While playing third in a game against the Drive, I saw Story make a sliding basket catch on a foul pop out with his back to home plate. Story showed good range going up the middle while playing short and a strong arm while throwing runners out at first from third. During a Story at bat in a game against the Tourists, the Rome Braves announcer said of Story, “boy does he ever have a glove.”
Before entering the batter’s box, Story makes sure that the Velcro strap on his batting gloves are secure. As he stands in, he taps the end of the bat on the near edge of the plate, measuring the position of his body to the strike zone. Story has an ever so slightly open stance with an upright posture while keeping his feet a bit more than shoulder length apart and his back knee a little bent. As the pitcher gets set, Story tends to raise and drop his left heel repeatedly. Then as the pitcher delivers he brings back his left foot before striding forward. The swings he took were healthy but relatively compact and clean. Far more often than not, Story took the first pitch regardless of location. He was not afraid to fall behind in the count, but often was able to work the count full or otherwise have extended at bats. His ability to foul off pitches and a discerning eye should bode well for his future outlook.
The results at the plate in the games against the R-Braves and the Drive were impressive. The dimensions in Rome and Greenville basically replicate those found at their parent clubs in Atlanta and Boston respectively. Story led off a game on August 25 by clubbing a high fastball down the left field line for a homer over the 30 foot Green Monster replica at Fluor Field at the West End. On July 16, against major league veteran Peter Moylan, Story rocked a ground-rule double to right center field. More typically, his hits were hard hit line drives up the middle or to left field. In addition, several well-struck pitches ended up as outs in the box score. The point is that Story can really hit. For good measure, in his third at bat on May 10, I saw him lay down a nice bunt single down the third base line.
Trevor Story is yet another dynamic infielder to come to the Rockies organization through the amateur player draft. The full text of Story’s future has not yet been laid out, however, the outline as it was drafted in 2012 looks promising. Watching the narrative of Story’s career evolve in professional baseball will be interesting.