While there were moments in the Colorado Rockies’ 2016 season where it seemed like they could contend for a Wild Card spot, it was still very much a year of rebuilding. With a parade of high-profile prospects being called up from the minors, and with several little-known players stepping up in a big way, they look to have done just that.
On Wednesday, in our Blake Street’s Youth Movement series, we detailed how Eddie Butler evolved to make it back to the major league squad. Today, we’ll be looking at Trevor Story who had a remarkable rookie campaign to bring stability at the position after Troy Tulowitzki. But a thumb injury gave Story a different perspective, something he couldn’t have found playing.
Trevor Story and Eddie Butler might not have much in common at first glance, but their time on the disabled list were easily the toughest stretches of their young careers. For the past two months, Story’s day included answering questions about how he was feeling following a torn ligament in his thumb that put him on the DL for the rest of the season, rehabbing and watching his team compete on the field without him. To say it’s been tough would be an understatement.
“I kind of lost it for a bit when I got the MRI results back,” Story said, “because it’s hard not being out there competing with your boys. [But I have grown in the last couple of months] by really just watching the game. Most of all, I think it makes you mentally tough. It’s really tough to be positive coming in every day and you know you can’t play. I think things happen for a reason, though. I think I really grew mentally.”
Story had two very different halves to his season that required different kinds of maturity. He made his major league debut after earning his spot on the roster not knowing if he was going to lose his spot to Jose Reyes at any moment. In that time, all he did was seriously contend for Rookie of the Year honors and set home run records for a rookie shortstop. But he arguably grew more by studying the game and working on the mental aspect of his game while he couldn’t play. Combining these experiences only makes Story a more-rounded, complete player. The preparation is translating into confidence.
“You kind of look at the game in a different way when you can’t play,” Story said. “I wouldn’t say one thing has really changed for me this season. It’s nice to have the confidence for next year. I think we have a little different attitude going into next year. We’re expecting to win.”
This is a part of a week-long series. Make sure to check back tomorrow, to hear how Jordan Patterson made the most out of his late call up to the majors. If you missed yesterday’s story about Eddie Butler, click here.