Red Sox second baseman Trevor Story
Trevor Story’s first season in Boston hasn’t exactly gone to plan. The prized free-agent acquisition came to town with high expectations after signing a six-year, $160 million deal but the former Rockie’s tenure in Boston got off to a rocky start.
A late arrival in camp due to the lockout delaying his free agency negotiations, along with the birth of his child, meant Story had limited time in spring training to prepare for the season. He was adjusting to a new city, a new league and a new position with only about a week of exhibition games under his belt before Opening Day. A slow start was hardly surprising.
Story’s bat finally announced its arrival with a power surge in May, including a stretch where he blasted nine home runs in 14 games. His batting average hadn’t recovered from his dismal start to the season but he was starting to find consistency with his swing.
His progress stalled when Story was hit on the hand by a pitch on July 12 in Tampa Bay. He was placed on the injured list and wouldn’t return until the end of August.
In 13 games since his return, Story is hitting a scorching .340 with an .889 OPS, five doubles, a home run and eight RBI. This is the Story fans expected to read this season.
Don’t be fooled by the low batting average. Story has had a productive season. Despite missing over six weeks, Story is still second on the team with 16 home runs and third with 66 RBI. He easily leads the Red Sox in stolen bases with 13. We’re talking about a potential 20/20 season if Story had stayed healthy. He has also provided Gold Glove caliber defense at second base, a position he had never played before.
Factoring in his all-around contributions, Story has been one of the most valuable players on this team. His 2.4 WAR trails only Xander Bogaerts (5.7) and Rafael Devers (4.3) among Red Sox position players.
The Red Sox were in third place in the AL East and held the second Wild Card spot on the day that Story injured his hand. His absence doesn’t completely explain their free fall but it certainly was a factor.