Draft Day Decision: Is Trevor Story Worth A First Round Selection?

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We all know that Trevor Story is among the better players in the league, but does he warrant a first round selection in 12-team formats?  He’s right on the cusp based on early ADP, so there are some fantasy owners who believe he belongs and some who do not.  Which side of the fence should we fall?  First, let’s take a look at the numbers from 2019:

588 At Bats
.294 Batting Average (173 Hits)
35 Home Runs
85 RBI
111 Runs
23 Stolen Bases
.363 On Base Percentage
.554 Slugging Percentage
.361 Batting Average on Balls in Play

Last season there were 21 players who stole at least 20 bases, and there were only four players who reached the 30/20 plateau:

  1. Ronald Acuna – 41 HR/37 SB
  2. Christian Yelich – 44 HR/30 SB
  3. Francisco Lindor – 32 HR/22 SB
  4. Trevor Story – 35 HR/23 SB

That’s an impressive group to be included in, especially since they all hit .280+ as well.  No one would argue against any of the other three being selected in the first round, so why is there any debate about Story’s status?  Perhaps the home/road split is the big reason why:

  • Home – .328 with 24 HR, 56 RBI and 71 R
  • Road – .260 with 11 HR, 29 RBI and 40 R

It’s not unusual for Colorado Rockies’ players to have a dramatic split away from Coors Field, so seeing the numbers shouldn’t come as a surprise.  That doesn’t take away from the gaudy totals that he’s proven capable of posting, as he’s hit .290+ while going 30/20 in back-to-back seasons (he had 37 HR and 27 SB in 2018). 

Story has now posted back-to-back years with a 19.9% HR/FB, and last season he showed an ability to hit the ball hard (44.1%) while using the entire field (28.3% Oppo%, up from 22.4% in ’18).  While the drop in power does contribute to the average discrepancy, his 29.7% strikeout rate on the road is also significantly worse (23.5% at home).  Considering his worst Whiff% was 18.24% against breaking balls, the home number does appear to be closer to the truth.  That gives hope that he could hit closer to .270-.280 on the road, and that would be more than enough.

Shortstop isn’t a shallow position, which you can argue works against Story, but he’s clearly among the elite.  He’s right there in the top tier, along with Lindor and perhaps Alex Bregman.  There’s a solid group of players behind them (Fernando Tatis Jr., Trea Turner and Xander Bogaerts, to name a few), but that again shouldn’t work against Story.  The Coors effect shouldn’t as well, considering it never hurt the status of Nolan Arenado before.

The bottom line is what Story does is for real, and therefore a first round selection is justified.  While he’s not a slam dunk, he’s right there in the mix for the Top 10-12 and worthy of a first round selection thanks to his ability to contribute in all five categories..

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

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