This afternoon, the Colorado Rockies named rookie Trevor Story as their Opening Day shortstop, as noted by Jordan Freemyer at PurpleRow.com. Story has been outstanding this spring, hitting .381/.458/.881 in spring training games.
What can we expect from Story? Quite a bit I think, although there will be some ups and downs. Here's the pre-season report from the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:
There are a lot of things to like about Trevor Story. Although he’s not a physical hulk he is quite strong physically and the ball jumps off his bat. His speed is a tick above average but he gets excellent jumps and is a superior baserunner, aggressive and confident and usually successful when he takes a gamble. He makes an effort to work counts. He has a strong arm and enough range for shortstop and has dramatically lowered his error rate over the last three years; he can also play second base with a high degree of skill and isn’t bad at third. The downside: he strikes out a lot and isn’t likely to hit for much of an average against big league pitching. He also has a reputation as being streaky, though this was less of an issue in 2015 than in past seasons. Story is the type of guy who could hit .280 with 20 homers one year then .220 with eight homers the next but my gut feeling is that he started to figure some things out last year. Grade B.
Story ended up ranked 60th on my 2016 Top 175 MLB prospects list. If he maxes out his skills, he could make that rating look too low. As with all hitters, Coors Field will help and this may be especially true in Story's case as he is an extreme fly ball hitter. The environment could mask some of his issues with contact that were apparent in the minors, though of course when he's on the road that won't be true.
All told, my guess is that Story will thrive at home but also have some significant cold streaks on the road. He'll provide low double-digit home runs and stolen bases for fantasy owners, but don't count on a sharp batting average. He'll hold down the job defensively and the glovework will help keep him in the lineup during any hitting down-phases.
He should be a leading Rookie of the Year candidate.