DENVER -- Trevor Story, now the record holder for home runs by a National League rookie shortstop (27), spent last offseason in Scottsdale, Ariz., when he was just a prospect trying to take advantage of the Rockies' Salt River Fields at Talking Stick facility. And Monday he welcomed one of
DENVER -- Trevor Story, now the record holder for home runs by a National League rookie shortstop (27), spent last offseason in Scottsdale, Ariz., when he was just a prospect trying to take advantage of the Rockies' Salt River Fields at Talking Stick facility. And Monday he welcomed one of his offseason housemates to the Majors.
Outfielder and Rockies No. 2 prospect David Dahl has blown through Double-A Hartford and Triple-A Albuquerque this season with a combined .314 batting average and 18 home runs. Don't be surprised if a rental property isn't advertising itself as the "House of Homers."
"We lived together all winter, and through Spring Training," Story said before he learned Sunday that Colorado will be purchasing Dahl's contract. "He's a gamer. He loves the game. I love that about him, too.
"When I was down there, I wanted to make sure I was with guys who really loved the game, loved to work hard. He was a perfect fit."
After the workouts at the facility, the prospects brought the game home with them.
"We talked baseball a lot," Story said. "Just sitting at the house, not really doing anything, I'd bring up something to him and get his thoughts about it, and vice versa. We talked about other players, what they do well. It helped us see what we could work on mechanically during the winter, when we are working on those things."
Like Story, who never hit more than 20 homers during a Minor League season, Dahl is having his biggest power season. That's a testament to the offseason work.
"I know he definitely got stronger," Story said. "And the thing I saw with him was consistency. He knew exactly where he'd be and how he'd do his routine. He was very efficient and intense with his routine, and never let anything get in the way of that. Every day in the offseason, we knew what we were doing."
Story and Dahl had a third housemate, third baseman and Colorado's No. 3 prospect Ryan McMahon, whose seven home runs at Hartford bring the House of Homers' 2016 total to 52.
The arrangement has set up a mentoring situation that Story hopes can be beneficial to McMahon, a second-round Draft pick in 2013 out of high school. This year, his first in Double-A, McMahon is hitting .232 with a .313 on-base percentage. That's well below the .298 and .372 numbers he achieved in his first 2 1/2 professional seasons.
Story and Dahl were also selected out of high school -- Story a supplemental first-rounder in 2011, Dahl the 10th overall choice in '12 -- and both had rough developmental years. Story hit .233 at Class A Advanced Modesto in '13, and Dahl was limited to 10 games in '13 because of an organizational disciplinary decision and a hamstring injury.
Story said McMahon showed the traits necessary to overcome his struggles.
"He's always pushing himself in the gym, pushing himself in the cage," Story said. "All three of us are. Sometimes we might take too many swings.
"I talked to Dahl once or twice a week, and I've talked to McMahon quite a bit. I've been where he is. The hard thing is to trust the routine, trust the process and always have that belief in yourself."
Story said his House of Homers wasn't the only place that special bonding was happening. Many of the Rockies' prospects spend their offseasons in Scottsdale working and dreaming, and it's slowly becoming a reality in Denver.
"We know how to win," Story said. "It's just a matter of executing. We have [a] winning attitude, and we're getting better every day."
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and** like his Facebook page**.