Regression Candidate: Trevor Story

Regression Candidate: Trevor Story

Rockies Shortstop Trevor Story (Getty Images)

Rockies Shortstop Trevor Story (Getty Images)

Each week I’ll be looking in to a regression candidate at each position. These are going to be more of a stat based, analytical deep dive on a specific player. The projections next to the player’s name are an average of THE BAT, ATC, Steamer, and ZIPS projection systems found on Fangraphs. NFBC ADP data is from the date range 2/01/2019-03/06/2019. {Insert Story pun}

Trevor Story, COL (ADP 17): 623 PA, 87 R, 33 HR, 98 RBI, 19 SB, .268/.332/.523/.855

Well, we finally got the full season that we’ve dreamed of after Story’s 10 HR in the first month of 2016. He was simply amazing last year, slashing .291/.348/.567/.914 with 37 HR and 27 SB. He was able to stay healthy for a full season, which has proven to be an issue for him early in his career. So, he’s a 26 year old coming off a career season. We should expect more of the same, right? Let’s dig into the numbers.

The 27 stolen bases were by far the most he’s had at the big league level. He had a history of stealing mid-20s bases in the minors but it’s not typical to see a player steal more as his career progresses. Power hitters usually just decide that they don’t need to steal bases anymore. According to Baseball Savant, he’s in the 97th percentile for sprint speed, so the amount of bases he steals is up to him. If he wants to steal, he will. The problem is that I’m not sure that the Rockies will want him attempting as many steals, because they need his bat in the lineup. Baseball Savant also highlights the stat that I see as the biggest regression for Story’s 2019. The .291 batting average was boosted by a .345 BABIP, so his average is unlikely to be that high again. His xBA (expected batting average) was .262 in 2018 and I’d project something around that number.

Story made big strides in his strikeout percentage from 2017 to 2018. He was 3rd in the league in 2017 with a 34.4% K%, so there was hardly anywhere to go but up. In 2018 he posted a respectable 25.6% in that category. You can live with a player striking out a quarter of the time as long as he hits the ball hard. Luckily, Story paired the strikeout rate improvements with 4% increase in hard hit rate.

Story’s 2018 looks about as sustainable as a non-Trout .290/37 HR/27SB season can look. He’s going to regress a bit in batting average and stolen bases but this power/speed profile isn’t going anywhere. There’s always been great potential to point to with Story, now there’s a dream season to point to. I don’t like drafting players after their career years but I don’t blame anyone for drafting Story in the top-20.

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Bounce Back Candidate: Chris Taylor

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