Low Level Prospect Review: Rockies SS Trevor Story

The Rockies took shortstop Trevor Story with their second pick of the draft in 2011, and has been opening eyes so far with his performance in the South Atlantic League. But what will his performance look like for dynasty league owners, and is he worth taking high in minor league drafts coming up?

Story was drafted out of Irving High School, outside of Dallas, Texas by the Rockies, and was signed early in July despite receiving an over-slot bonus of $915,000. The Rockies wasted no time and sent him to their rookie league affiliate in Casper, Wyoming. He appeared in 47 games last season there, posting a slash line of .268/.364/.436 with 6 home runs, 28 RBI, and was 13 for 14 on stolen base attempts. The Rockies gave him a full-season assignment this year, and he is playing for Asheville in the South Atlantic League. In 40 games through Wednesday night, Story has hit 7 home runs already, driven in 22, and has a slash line of .287/.379/.547.

Story has been primarily playing shortstop as a professional, but has appeared in 12 games this season at 3B as well. His defense at both positions, from a purely statistical standpoint, has been solid (.964 fielding percentage between both positions, 6 errors), and it sounds like the scouting reports also indicate that he should be able to stay at the position as he progresses through the minors. The biggest obstacle for Story continuing at shortstop would have to be the practically lifetime contract given to Troy Tulowitzki, and in all likelihood I think a shift to 3B or elsewhere in the field could be the long-term answer.

The other thing that seems to be mentioned a lot in the scouting reports is that Story is a player with a a lower ceiling than a lot of the players drafted in front of him, but that his floor may be higher than most as well. Jason Parks offered the following quote in his recent piece about the Rockies' system (sub req'd):

Trevor Story's light is already on, with the biggest drawback being that the light emanating from his prospect status is neither bright nor brilliant. It's just....solid.

The first caveat I would give about his performance in Asheville is this: despite being in a pitchers' league, Asheville is known for being a hitters' park, and a rather extreme one. The park multipliers for Asheville in 2011 pointed toward nearly 47% more home runs than league average, and nearly 32% more doubles than league average. While the numbers he has posted thus far have been good, take them with a grain of salt.

Story seems to me like he will be a level a year type of player. He has been splitting time at shortstop somewhat this season with another prospect in the Rockies' system, Rosell Herrera, but Herrera has been hitting very poorly thus far and may not be seeing the majority of playing time in the near future. At that rate, he would be pushing the Majors around 2015, at which point he will still be just 23 years old.

Once he is in the Majors, I could see a decent batting average from him, to go along with some decent power and speed in combination. Playing half his games at Coors Field could likely help his numbers look better than they would be at other parks, but I could see him as a .275, 15-20 HR, 15-20 SB type at his peak, and more commonly in the 10-15 range for each of them. Not elite value, but a definite solid value for fantasy owners should be stay at shortstop, or really anywhere on the infield.

Sources:

Baseball America
Baseball Reference
Baseball Prospectus
Youtube

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