Why Trevor Story Could Become One Of The Elite Shortstops In 2017

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Prior to his season ending injury the fantasy world was abuzz in regards to Trevor Story.  Could he continue the torrid pace he set over the first few months?  Has he emerged as one of the truly elite shortstops in the league?  The fact that we can’t fully answer those questions leaves a slight cloud hanging over him as we head towards 2017.  With the potential to be one of the elite at his position, there also is a lot of risk.  Let’s take a look and try to pinpoint exactly where his value falls.

 

2016 Statistics
372 At Bats
.272 Batting Average (101 Hits)
27 Home Runs
72 RBI
67 Runs
8 Stolen Bases
.341 On Base Percentage
.567 Slugging Percentage
.343 Batting Average on Balls in Play

 

Power
The biggest question comes with his home runs, and despite playing half his games in Coors Field it’s going to be hard to anticipate him maintaining this type of rate.  A 23.7% HR/FB ranked him 11th among players with at least 400 PA, and he had never shown quite that much power before.  In 2015, splitting time between Double and Triple-A, he hit 20 HR over 575 PA.  The Triple-A locale is a favorable one, so looking at his HR/PA at the level, compared to his mark in the Majors, is a fair one:

  • Triple-A – 27.5
  • Majors – 15.4

That’s quite a bump, and a regression is coming.  Then again, if he was to get 600 PA all he would need to do is set a pace of 1 HR every 20 PA to reach 30 HR on the season.  Over that 2015 campaign in the minor he added 40 doubles and 10 triples (21 doubles and 4 triples in the Majors last season), so that’s a realistic expectation.

 

Average
Like with his power it’s fair to assume that his average is going to regress.  As it is he had a notable home/road split:

  • Home – .313
  • Road – .235

There are significant concerns across the board, including his drop in power (as well as a home run approach, with a 47.1% fly ball rate), inflated strikeout rate (31.3%) and potential for a drop in his BABIP.

There is hope that the strikeouts will improve, as there was no one pitch that he was truly awful against (his worst Whiff% was 18.02% against breaking balls).  That’s not to say that he’s going to be a contact machine, but a 28% strikeout rate is believable.

The BABIP, given the fly ball approach and drop in power, is going to fall.  He does hit the ball hard (44.9% Hard%), and that’s going to help, but there’s a regression coming all the same.

When you put it together you get more of a .260ish hitter, as opposed to a .280+ player.  With his other skills, and potential to chip in both runs and RBI, that’s not a bad mark.

 

Speed
Often overlooked, Story has the ability to chip in double-digit stolen bases.  He had 8 SB last season, prior to getting hurt, and had 22 in the minors in ’15.  Even if all he does is swipe 12-15 bases, going along with his power there’s a lot to like.

 

Conclusion
Even with an expected regression, it’s hard not to love the potential Story brings to the table.  A 30/10 shortstop is a unique skill set, and with the potential for him not to sink your average as well as chip in RBI/R, he brings the total package.  It’ll be easy to target players like Xander Bogaerts or Corey Seager over Story, but the latter’s upside is higher and is the player we’d prefer.

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

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Make sure to check out our 2017 Rankings:

Position
Standard League
OBP League
Catcher03/20/1702/28/17
First Base01/16/1703/07/17
Second Base03/22/1703/09/17
Third Base02/06/1703/12/17
Shortstop02/13/1703/15/17
Outfield#1-20 |03/16/17

#21-40 |03/16/17
03/19/17
Starting Pitcher#1-20 |02/27/17

#21-40 |03/02/17
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Relief Pitcher01/02/17--

2 comments

  1. Carlito says:

    Speaking of middle infielders how do you feel about Drury? Should I drop Semien for him?

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