Trevor Story was in the conversation for NL Rookie of the Year honors in 2016 before a thumb ligament injury ended his season, but he was unable to repeat that success in 2017. He stumbled out of the gates, batting .180/.289/.396 over his first 34 games. Story hit .255 with 18 homers and 67 RBI in 112 games after his return from a shoulder injury in May, but he continued to swing and miss at a high rate, fanning in one-third of his plate appearances over the remainder of the year. The strikeouts are not as much of a problem in today's game, and that's especially true when a player hits the ball as hard as Story does -- his 40.3 percent hard-hit rate ranked 18th among qualified hitters. Story will likely continue to be a batting-average liability with his current approach, even while playing half his games at Coors Field, but his prolific power and splash of speed at the shortstop position give him appeal at what will be a significantly discounted price from a year ago.
Manager Bud Black said he's intrigued by the thought of Story hitting fourth this season, Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post reports. This obviously hinges on Story showing he's improved his brutal contact issues from 2017, as he struck out in 34.4 percent of his plate appearances while leading all of baseball with 191 strikeouts last season. He took part in an intense offseason workout program and focused on simplifying his approach at the plate in the offseason, which he's hoping will help him return to his rookie-year form (.272/.341/.567 with 27 homers in 97 games). The 25-year-old should hold fantasy value either way given his impressive pop and sneaky speed at the shortstop position, but hitting in the heart of a solid Rockies' lineup would provide a nice boost to his counting stats. Until Cactus League action picks up and we get a look at how Story's adjustments are paying off, he should continued to be viewed as a risky, albeit high-upside bounce-back candidate at what should be a significantly discounted price from a year ago.
Story said Saturday that he took part in an strenuous offseason workout program and is focusing on simplifying his approach at the plate during the upcoming season, Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post reports. "I feel great, I can't wait to get back into it again," said Story. "Baseball is a game of adjustments. It's no secret that I struggled at the beginning of last year, but I think there was an ends to that. I used that. I learned." After busting on the scene as a rookie with 27 home runs and a .272/.341/.567 across 97 games, Story entered the 2017 campaign with massive expectations, but ultimately failed to deliver. Though Story closed the season on a high note with 15 extra-base hits in September, his extreme contact woes -- he led the National League with 191 strikeouts -- proved to be his undoing, as the shortstop mustered a disappointing .239/.308/.457 slash line in 555 plate appearances. Rather than overhauling his swing this offseason in an attempt to generate more contact, Story has instead turned his attention to improving his patience at the plate in order to identify pitches he can drive. Story's performance early on during Cactus League play may offer more insight into whether or not his adjustments are paying off, but for the time being, he should be viewed as a risky, albeit high-upside bounce-back candidate.
Story is not in the lineup Sunday against the Dodgers, Jenny Cavnar of AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain reports. Story snapped his seven-game hitting streak Saturday with his 0-for-4 showing and will now get the day off for the final game of the regular season. Pat Valaika will draw the start at shortstop, batting seventh.
Story went 2-for-4 with four RBI and two runs during Wednesday's win over Miami. Story now has seven RBI through his past two games and is up to a respectable 23 homers, 80 RBI and 65 runs for the campaign. While he clearly failed to duplicate his excellent pace from last season, Story's counting statistics have been serviceable in the majority of fantasy settings.
Story (hamstring) is in Friday's lineup against the Padres, Jenny Cavnar of AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain reports. Story was forced to exit Thursday's game with a hamstring cramp, but the shortstop won't miss any additional time as he's back in the lineup for the series opener against San Diego on Friday. He is currently riding a six-game hitting streak, going 8-for-24 with two home runs and four RBI over that span.