Is Trevor Story a Sell-High Candidate in Fantasy Baseball?
After three games, it sure seems like that's going to be the... wait for it... "story."
(I promise that's the only time I'll do that in this entire piece.)
On Wednesday, Story became the first player in Major League history whose first four hits of his career were homers, was the first player to homer in his first three games and, with a multi-homer game thrown in the mix, is the first player since 1900 to hit four homers in the first three games of his career.
— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 7, 2016
Here are the first two he hit on Opening Day against a little-known pitcher named Zack Greinke...
And here is his fourth homer, hit in Wednesday's series finale.
The one thing you notice about all four homers is the different kinds of pitches he hit out and the location of those pitches in the strike zone. Story has shown good opposite field and pull power and has also flashed the leather a bit, too.
Obviously, his first three career games have been magnificent, and he has been walloping the ball at will so far this year.
Trevor Story exit velocity first 5 batted balls in #MLB:
— Daren Willman (@darenw) April 6, 2016
But will it continue?
As I wrote last week, in 575 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A last year, Story hit 20 homers, although his overall production was better at Double-A. Throughout his career, he's been known as a guy with good pop for a shortstop but one who has trouble making contact, as evidenced by his strikeout rate. However, last year saw an improvement in that area, going from 34.6% of plate appearances in 2014 to around 24.5% last season.
And as FanGraphs' Jeff Sullivan noted, just a quarter of the balls that left his bat last year were on the ground. Three-quarters of everything he came into contact with was either a line drive or a fly ball. For the rest of his minor league career, that ground ball rate was anywhere from 30% to 35%. That's encouraging for a guy who plays half his games at Coors Field.
But let's pump the brakes for just a second.
While Story has always been a decent prospect, he's never been considered one of the best in the game. He came into the season as the team's number-11 prospect, according to MLB.com. Although, it is fair to note the Rockies' farm system is strong.
Certainly, if you drafted Story late in your draft, you have benefitted from his outstanding start. And for those leagues in which he hasn't been added, he'll certainly be atop the waiver wire next week.
But it might be wise to consider trading Story now, while his value is highest, in the hopes of landing one or two impact players you feel more certain about. Obviously, you won't be able to swap him for a Bryce Harper or Paul Goldschmidt, but perhaps there is an owner out there willing to take a flyer on Story and give up an Edwin Encarnacion, Chris Davis or Stephen Strasburg.
It's worth exploring -- because it's hard to picture Trevor Story getting any hotter than he is right now.