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Shortstop prospect Story promoted to Triple-A

Prized prospect's advancement raises speculation about Tulowitzki

OAKLAND -- The Rockies promoted shortstop prospect Trevor Story from Double-A New Britain, where he hit .281 with 10 home runs and 45 RBIs, to Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday.

Having a a prized shortstop -- Story, 22, was a supplemental first-round pick, 45th overall, in 2011 out of Irving (Texas) High School -- so close to the Majors sparks yet another round of speculation about whether the club is looking to deal high-priced veteran Troy Tulowitzki. But general manager Jeff Bridich, when asked, focused on the development of Story.

"This is a Story story, not a 'Tulo' story" Bridich said.

Story, who was not in Albuquerque's lineup Tuesday, has been playing shortstop, second base and third base -- the positions he played in Major League camp as a non-roster invitee -- at New Britain, and the shifting will continue at Albuquerque.

The strong early season is a continuation of the progress Story made last year. He batted .332 with a .436 on-base percentage at Class A Modesto in 50 games, but struggled at Double-A Tulsa (.200 in 56 games). However, he accelerated at the Double-A level this year.

"He's earned the opportunity for a greater challenge -- he's been a lot better, more consistent with his offensive approach," Bridich said. "A lot of that shows up in his statistics, just being more in control more often."

Bridich explained that the Rockies are emphasizing versatility, plus playing many positions could help, since the Rockies play defensive shifts as much as any club, and need their players to be comfortable at various angles during the course of at-bats, even within at-bats. But Bridich expressed confidence in Story's shortstop skills.

"He's pretty good," Bridich said. "I guess some that remains to be seen. You don't truly know until you see the guy do it at this level. But we drafted him as a shortstop. He continued to play shortstop all the way up through his Minor League career, and that's not in hopes that all of the sudden he's a right fielder."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page.
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