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Ian Desmond makes the case for Trevor Story to be an All-Star

Drew Creasman Avatar
June 25, 2018

DENVER – There may be no player in baseball who has made a more dramatic turnaround this season than Ian Desmond.

The sometimes outfielder now settled in at first base struggled mightily over his first 43 games, batting just .175, though he did manage to hit seven home runs, five of which came at critical junctures in Rockies wins.

Still, the lack of any kind of consistent threat began to grate on the fanbase as the empty at-bats piled up. This came to a boiling point on May 9 when he was loudly booed by his home crowd in a game against the Los Angeles Angels in which he struck out four times.

Nine days later, he began a stretch of 33 games in which he is batting .282/.398/.545 with nine home runs, 25 RBI, and four stolen bases, good for a 141 wRC+.

But when asked about this dramatic shift, Desmond downplays the notion that he made any sort of dramatic change. He did note, however: “I don’t really like playing in 40-degree weather.”

Other than that, he was reluctant to talk about himself, drawing attention to the work of the pitching staff and the togetherness of the clubhouse.

But when I asked him about Trevor Story, he had no shortage of thoughts to share.

“Trevor’s great, man,” he said. “I’m glad I get to see him play his game from my vantage point every single night. The amount of work that he puts in… he’s just awesome.”

In a homestand in which Story’s glovework has stood out as exceptional, Desmond offered his own experience for a little extra perspective.

“He’s by far the best shortstop that I’ve played with,” he said. “Way beyond what I was capable of as a shortstop.”

Both players have driven an aggressive, athletic movement that has seen the Rockies increase their stolen base totals and success rates in addition to grabbing more extra bags going first-to-third-or-home with more regularity.

And one elite athlete recognizes another.

“The fact that he’s as durable as he is, he’s out there every single pitch, every single game, and he’s one of the fastest players in the league? And his legs aren’t breaking down? He’s strong, man.”

And it isn’t all natural talent. Sure, Story has plenty of that, but it has always been the work ethic that helped set him apart.

“He puts a lot of time in the gym, a lot of time in the cage, and a lot of time in the video room,” says Desmond.

Without even being prompted, Desmond goes right to the conclusion that should be drawn from all of this; the question on the tip of everyone’s tongues.

“He’s having a great year and I hope that the fans recognize that,” he said. “Yes, Nolan is great. Yes, Charlie is great. Yes, DJ is great. But Trevor’s coming back from the year he missed from injury and last year was just a sophomore year. But this year, we’ve seen who he really is. He’s an All-Star in my eyes and I think he should be an All-Star in every Rockies’ fans eyes, too. Hopefully, the votes say so.”

 

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