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BSN Exclusive: Teammates make All-Star case for rangiest shortstop in baseball

Drew Creasman Avatar
July 7, 2018

DENVER – Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story may be on the verge of some great news. Or, maybe not.

We will all find out together Sunday when the 2018 National League All-Stars are announced.

There is no question in the minds of teammates he belongs in the game in a season in which he is slashing .279/.343/.523 with 16 home runs, 10 stolen bases, and 60 RBI, all while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense at one of the game’s most demanding positions.

According to BSN’s own DPR metric (measuring offense only), Story has been just one point below the production levels of Charlie Blackmon and Bryce Harper.

He has been an invaluable asset in the field, at the plate, on the basepaths and in the clubhouse.

Everyone from Carlos Gonzalez to Ian Desmond to infield brethren Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu has made it clear that this should equate to an appearance at the Midsummer Classic.

“That’s huge,” Story says when I tell him about the endorsements from his teammates. “To think and say that about me is humbling. We put a lot of hard work into this, a lot more than a lot of people think. We’ll see. It would be cool.”

He also admits, like most young men who ever laced up a pair of cleats or broke in a brand new glove, that this would be a dream come true.

“Yeah, no doubt,” he said. “It’s a goal of mine. Like you said, that’s why you want to play or you want to be one of the best and that’s why we work so hard.”

It should come as a surprise to no one that Arenado sees this all as the inevitable conclusion to the hard work by the man who stands right next to him on the diamond.

“Story has taken huge steps the last few years,” he said. “I think a big thing is his work, his preparation for the game, going in and doing BP; he really works on a lot of those plays that he’s getting in the game so I think that’s why it’s paying off. I think it’s becoming instincts now so that when the game starts, he’s very fluid with it now. He doesn’t  seem like he’s overthinking anything.”

Diving stops and ridiculous spins and 450-foot bombs were stunning in his rookie season. Now, they are more routine. Like his left-side mate, the spectacular has become de rigeur for Story. And in the game of baseball, that’s how you become a superstar; not by proving yourself over the course of a grueling 162-game season… but by proving yourself over the course of a 162-game season year-after-year-after-year-after-year.

“I think he’s had an All-Star year,” Arenado continues. “He’s driving the ball out of the ballpark, he’s driving runs in, he’s playing great defense, I mean, I don’t know what else you want, those are the things you’ve gotta do, ya know? There’s some shortstops having some great years. Brandon Crawford is having a really good year, but at the same time, I think [Story] is very deserving of that other opportunity because I haven’t seen too many other shortstops doing what he’s doing.”

But perhaps the highest praise came from second baseman DJ LeMahieu who knows a thing or two about excellent defense and had some spicy words for Story’s glove.

“Defensively, top of the league,” he said. “He and Brandon Crawford are very similar. I think Trevor has a little bit more range. But Crawford is amazing too. I think they’re head and shoulders above everyone in the National League. And then, obviously, the way Trevor’s swinging it this year… he’s having a great year. A tough out, he drives in runs. He’s taking bases. And we talked about the defense.”

Yes, we did. And you directly compared him to the best defensive shortstop of the last decade. And put them on nearly even ground. Let he who would take umbrage with such a claims build their own case, for I am disinclined to disagree.

LeMahieu says that, despite momentary setbacks, the continuing development of Story comes as obvious news to those who were watching him every day.

“He never really got into a rhythm last year,” he said. “I don’t think anyone in this locker room ever doubted his ability or how good he could be. But he’s even better than he was his rookie year and continues to get better.”

By objective measure, Trevor Story has a great case to be a 2018 NL All-Star but it will be no great crime if he just misses out.

But surely the larger point is that last one LeMahieu made; he keeps getting better.

Which makes one wonder. … what if this is still just the beginning?

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