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Nuts' Story looking to add to his tale04/05/2013 6:00 AM ET
By Robert Emrich / Special to MLB.com
While all the attention might be on A's first-rounder Addison Russell, there's another shortstop out west who is also capable of turning heads.
Trevor Story enters the season as the Rockies' No. 3 prospect and No. 99 on MLB.com's Top 100 list. It's a jump from where he started 2012, as the club's No. 8 prospect. A big year in the South Atlantic League changed that.
Named to the Sally League's Post-Season All-Star team, the Texas native ended with a slash line of .277/.367/.505 for the Asheville Tourists, finishing ninth with an .872 OPS. He tied for second with 96 runs scored and third with 241 total bases, including a league-leading 43 doubles. Not content to make noise with just his bat, Story stole 15 bases in 18 attempts for the Tourists.
Now he's primed to make some noise with a move to the California League, where he'll open the year playing for the Modesto Nuts.
"I'm very excited [to move up]," Story said. "Coming off last year, I thought I had a good year. I'm just really excited to get this season under way and see what it has in store for me."
Story is looking to build on the things he did right last year.
"I'd say just take a lot of the positives from last year, stay with the approach that I used last year. Offensively and defensively we worked very hard on all aspects of my game -- really trying to cut down on my strikeouts and steal a few more bases. Pretty much keep the same hardworking approach as I did and hopefully it will pan out for me."
He was solid in the field as well, committing two errors in 21 games at third base and 22 in 85 games at short. With All-Star Troy Tulowitzki entrenched at shortstop in Colorado, gaining experience at other positions is a going to be beneficial for Story.
"I think it's going to be pretty similar to last year," he said. "The majority of games played at short and a handful games at third. I think that's the plan. I feel good. It's definitely been a transition from shortstop, but the more and more I play it, I start to feel more comfortable. I'm pretty confident at third."
Moving to the California League, traditionally a league heavy with offense, Story is looking forward to seeing what his bat can produce out west.
"I've heard from a lot of the guys that have played there that it's a very hitter-friendly league," Story said. "Coming from Asheville, which was hitter-friendly as well, I'm very excited about that. I love the chance to get to hit in a hitter's league."
Even with that edge, Story is likely to face some of the most prized pitching prospects in baseball in the D-backs' Archie Bradley and the Giants' Kyle Crick. MLB.com's No. 99 prospect is looking forward to the chance to prove his worth against highly regarded hurlers.
"I've faced some of those guys in certain games or Spring Training games, and I thought it was fun to get out there and face the up-and-coming, best-of-the-best guys," Story said. "It'll be fun, it's going to be a challenge but I'm looking forward to it."
Story's success wasn't just limited to the regular season. The 20-year-old shortstop homered twice and drove in six runs in Asheville's successful playoff campaign. Advancing a level with many of the players who helped win a title with him, Story believes the move will be an easy adjustment.
"[It was a] really tight-knit group last year," the 6-foot-1 Story said. "We have a lot of fun while we're playing. It makes the transition a little bit easier, being with a lot of familiar faces."