Didn’t think we’d be here a year ago. Or near. Dear, what an irrational fear. Your grandmother is not going to get run over by a reindeer. Greybot, malfunctioning, stuck in rhyme loop. Must. Find. Way. Out. Talking. Like. William. Shatner. Does. Not. Help. By the way, when William Shatner is asked his middle name, he should reply, “Period.” Notice how there’s no sexual assault allegations regarding William Shatner? That’s because there’s a pause every three seconds when you can run away. Trevor Story went from a 1st round value in two-thirds of a season to a 2nd round draft pick to “Hmm, Zack Cozart is still on the board in the 12th round, and Trevor Story, but, damn, I don’t want Trevor Story do I? I’d ask Grey, but he’s malfunctioning Greybot with a simplistic rhyme scheme like Pitbull.” I resemble that remark! Let’s go down memory lane for a second. *opens mail* I got a ticket because I didn’t have an E-Z Pass for Memory Lane? Oh c’mon! In 2016, Trevor Story hit 27 homers, stole 8 bags and hit .272. In a full season last year, well, you didn’t want to own him. I mean *shudders* He ain’t got no alibi. You feel me? Okay, can you stop touching me, I’m a germaphobe. So, what can we expect from Trevor Story for 2018 and what makes him a 2018 fantasy baseball sleeper?
Excellent question, Intro Paragraph. “The question about E-Z Pass?” No, Intro Paragraph, forget it. Story’s biggest weakness? No, not a rushed 3rd act. It’s strikeouts. This is my worry with guys like Story, Aaron Judge, really anyone that strikes out 30% of the time. Their BABIP goes in the toilet, they press and strikeout even more, and they end up hitting .220. Last year, Story struck out 34.4% of the time up from 31.3%, and his average plummeted to .239. There’s positives in the splits, thankfully. In the 2nd half, he hit .254 and his strikeout rate came down two percentage points. Also, his fly balls came way down from 52% to 44%. That sounds like a negative in Coors, and it could be, if his fly balls weren’t so abundant to begin with. There was a lot made of his swing changes; he was lifting everything last year, especially in the 1st half. 54% is the top fly ball hitter in the majors (Joey Gallo), and, well, let’s just say, hitting everything in the air is fine, and all, but over 50% is crazy. Hit a few line drives or even a ground ball or three. A 44% fly ball rate is still plenty of fly balls, and would’ve been top 20 in the majors last year. Story doesn’t need to hit more than fifty percent of balls in the air, and I think he figured that out as the season went on. Also, he missed sixty games the previous year, and maybe he was rusty in the 1st half of last year, that would also explain his better 2nd half. Finally, as he stopped hitting everything in the air, his Hard Contact percentage went from 31% to 49%. 49% would’ve been the best Hard Contact rate in the entire major leagues, to give you an idea how well he was seeing the ball in the 2nd half. Story was a tale of two halfs, and the worst of times and the best of times, until he started hitting the Dickens out of the ball. All of this is positive, and I haven’t even mentioned Coors, except in passing. Oh my God, Coors passed away?! Shut up, Random Italicized Voice. This, my over-the-internet friends, is a sleeper. For 2018, I’ll give Trevor Story the projections of 78/31/89/.247/8 in 575 ABs with a chance for much more.