DENVER -- April shaped up to be uncertain for the Rockies.
For the first time since late in the 2006 season, the regular shortstop would be someone other than Troy Tulowitzki, who was dealt to the Blue Jays in July 2015. And his replacement, José Reyes, was in limbo and on his way to an MLB suspension for an off-field incident. But Trevor Story turned out to be the brightest April flower.
:: Take 10: Top stories of 2016 ::
It's not as if Story didn't give the Rockies fair warning. He hit .340 with six home runs and 13 RBIs in 20 Cactus League games. But that's just Spring Training. Many folks like that disappear once the regular season begins.
However, Story showered April with home runs. Two on Opening Day were followed by five more in the first six games. The record book was his Story. By the end of April, Story's 10 homers tied the White Sox José Abreu (2014) for the Major League rookie record for that month.
The best part was, the Story didn't end.
Yes, his performance fired up a pun machine that kept rolling through 27 home runs -- a National League rookie record for a shortstop. Story's story played right up to July 30, when he suffered a season-ending left thumb injury.
But Story is giving the tale a hopeful turn.
The thumb has healed, and Story is working out at the Rockies' facility in Scottsdale, Ariz., not only hitting but impressing teammates in the weight room. So impressive was Story, who finished the year at .272 with the 27 homers -- the most for any rookie in the Majors - and 72 RBIs in 97 games, that the Rockies appear set at shortstop for years to come.