Statcast is always such a weird thing to me. It’s cool to see numbers and shit calculated that you could never do yourself. How far balls are hit, how fast the ball comes off the bat, route efficiency for outfielders and some infielders, it can basically do it all. But, we are dependent on a computer to make all those calculations. I can only trust a computer so much before Istart to question the computer brain with no emotions. Speaking of, last night a man by the name of Trevor Story hit the furthest ball ever recorded by Statcast at 505 feet, besting Giancarlo Stantons bomb from 2016 that was 504 feet. Weak. Along with that bomb last night Story added two more on top of that to continue his great 2018 season.
If you remember back in 2016, Story came onto the scene quicker than a little kid seeing a girl naked for the first time. In his first ever big league game, Story hit two bombs. The next game, he hit another. The game after that, he hit another bomb. His 4th ever big league game? two bombs. His fifth ever career game? 0-5 and the world stopped. But of course, the world kept spinning and his sixth career game he hit ANOTHER home run. So to start off his big league career, through six games, Story had seven home runs. Maybe came out of the gate too hot? Can’t tell. Unfortunately, his season came to an end early tearing his UCL ligament in his left thumb. Story still finished the season with a slash line of .272/.341/.567 with 27 home runs and 72 RBI’s through 97 games. Finishing 4th in the Rookie of the Year Voting that he probably would have won have he played a full season.
Expectations were high for Story in 2017, and train couldn’t stay on the tracks. Through 145 games, Story hit a lowly .239/.308/.457 with 24 bombs, 82 RBI’s, 32 doubles and a league leading 191 strike outs. He had seen better days. So the baseball world didn’t really know what to expect in 2018.
What we got in 2018 is a player who is now contending for the MVP award. So far, through 138 games, Story has a slash line of .298/.354/.566– .920 OPS– is leading the league in doubles at 39, has 31 home runs, 95 RBI’s and an impressive 25 steals. Story adding the speed element to his game has made him one of baseballs most feared hitters. With a WAR of 5.1, Story sits 9th in all of baseball for position players. He still strikes out a ton, 148 this year, but his strike out rate has gone down from 34.4% he had in 2017 to 25.5 % this year so far. HUGE improvement. Thanks to Fangraphs.com, writer Jeff Sullivan also provided me with a great stat. Players with 250 plate appearances since 1900, Story is 8th all time in the sport of baseball with his -8.9% change in his strike out rate. Thanks Jeff.
With those numbers he has accumulated, Story is right up there with teammate Nolan Arenado and might even pass him before this season is in the books. Right now Story has to fend off Arenado, Christian Yellich, Javier Baez, and possibly even Max SCherzer and Jacob Degrom. It will be a fun finish this year.