Story's first All-Star start could come in Majors

Rockies shortstop proves he's more than an April anomaly

May 20th, 2016

Five seasons in the Minor Leagues, and Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story never did play in an All-Star Game.

Not that it mattered. Story never has been hung up on awards. Ever since the Rockies made him the 45th player selected in the 2011 Draft, he has had only one goal -- making it to the Major Leagues.

Mission accomplished.

Story has arrived with a "Hey, look at me!" debut that has put him in position to start adding accolades to his resume, like becoming the first rookie shortstop to be elected in a fan vote to start an All-Star Game. His stats are worthy. More than that, his timing is perfect.

• Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Story and other #ASGWorthy players

The Esurance All-Star Game Ballot does not include an active player among the National League shortstop candidates who has been voted to an All-Star team by fans.

It does, however, include two rookies, Story and Corey Seager of the Dodgers. They are joined by four other rookies -- Astros first baseman Tyler White, Twins designated hitter Byung Ho Park, Indians outfielder Tyler Naquin and Orioles outfielder Joey Rickard -- among the 255 players on the ballot (eight position players for each team plus a DH for each American League team) for the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard, which will be played at Petco Park in San Diego on July 12.

Seager came into the season with the hype, ranked among the elite prospects in the game and a foregone conclusion to fill the shortstop spot on a team expected to contend in the NL West.

Story, meanwhile, wasn't even a serious consideration to make Colorado's roster until veteran shortstop Jose Reyes was sidelined at the start of the season, awaiting discipline for a domestic violence incident, and he outplayed Cristhian Adames for the Opening Day assignment with the Rockies in Spring Training.

Having earned the opportunity, Story has forced fans to notice him with one of the most impactful debuts in big league history.

With a seventh-inning solo home run against St. Louis on Thursday, Story has hit 12 this season to go along with a .280 batting average and 31 RBIs.

Story hit two home runs in his big league debut. And they weren't just any home runs. They were off Zack Greinke, who was making his Diamondbacks debut in the season opener at Chase Field. In Story's second big league at-bat, he went deep on an 0-1 fastball. Next time up, he drove a 2-0 slider more than 400 feet for a home run.

Story homered in each of his first four big league games -- hitting a total of six -- and set a record for all players, not just rookies, with seven home runs in the first six games of the season. And those seven home runs came off three fastballs, two sliders, a curve and a changeup.

Story finished April with 10 home runs, equaling the Major League record for a rookie set two years ago by Cuban slugger Jose Abreu of the White Sox.

Story also has hit three of the six balls that have bounced off the raised fence in right-center field at Coors Field, denying him what would have been home runs in the previous 21 seasons of the ballpark. But he did pick up two of his four triples and a double on those three drives.

Story leads Major League shortstops -- veterans and rookies -- in home runs and RBIs, despite hitting in the No. 2 slot in Colorado's lineup.

The cynics will point out that Story has struck out 59 times, but it hasn't been rookie impatience. Entering Saturday's play, he led all shortstops with an average 4.20 pitches per plate appearance. Story is second among shortstops with eight go-ahead RBIs and four game-winning RBIs.

Oh, and Story can play defense, too.

When the Rockies had him moving around at second base and third base in the Minor Leagues the past two years, there was speculation that the team was concerned about whether he could handle the demands at short.

No truth to it. They were getting a look at how he handled other positions because Troy Tulowitzki was entrenched at shortstop in Colorado. When Tulowitzki was dealt last July to the Blue Jays, the Rockies did take Reyes back in the deal, but that was primarily as a salary offset for the Tulowitzki contract with the thought Reyes could hold down the fort until Story arrived.

Turned out, Story's future is now. He is proving he not only belongs in the big leagues, but perhaps in the NL starting lineup at the All-Star Game, as well.