Albuquerque Isotopes shortstop Trevor Story has been dealing with questions about Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki since the day he was drafted in 2011. He had to deal with some surprising new ones Tuesday afternoon.
In a stunning move, the Rockies traded Tulowitzki and reliever LaTroy Hawkins to the Toronto Blue Jays late Monday night, receiving veteran shortstop Jose Reyes and three pitching prospects in return. Assuming that Reyes is a potential short-term acquisition, that pushes Story into the spotlight as Colorado’s closest-to-the-Majors shortstop prospect.
“It was pretty crazy,” Story said, shaking his head. “I was watching the (Rockies-Cubs) game and saw he came out of the game, didn’t know if he got hurt. Turns out he got traded. It’s just kind of surprising.”
Story said he first saw about the trade on ESPN’s SportsCenter after the Rockies’ game ended. Since then, the messages from family, friends, and former teammates have been rolling in.
“A lot of texts from different people, different friends and family, ‘Hey, what’s happening?’ all that type of deal,” Story said. “But I don’t let that stuff bother me. I just tell them, that has nothing to do with me, I’m just taking of myself and my business.”
Avoiding distraction is something that has always come with the territory for Story and other top prospects. They are aware of what they can and cannot control, Story said.
“Really, just stay away from it, just really focus on my preparation and my day-in and day-out activities here at the field even more,” Story said. “There’s a lot of buzz going on around it.
“Just really, I’ve got to turn my phone off. I just need to focus on what I need to focus on. If I take care of what I need to, good things will happen.”
Story always had a positive relationship with the man he was supposed to someday replace. Tulowitzki called him the night he was drafted to congratulate Story and always went out of his way to talk to the younger player during spring training.
“Our bond definitely grew, he reached out to me since day one,” Story said. “He’s been nothing but very helpful and supportive of me even though we do play the same position. He helped me a lot through my development. I learned a lot of stuff from him.
“I was just really honored to be in the position to learn from him, a guy like that. I just really valued my time with him.”
Story certainly picked up on a few tips from the five-time All-Star, as his recent play would suggest. Story went 13-for-26 last week with six doubles, four home runs and 11 RBI to earn Pacific Coast League Player of the Week honors.
“Since I came up here I feel like I’ve been playing pretty well,” said Story, who was promoted from Double-A New Britain on June 30. “I had a little adjustment period. I had a little bad luck, I felt like. Yeah, I’m where I need to be (now) and just day-in and day-out keep getting better, keep progressing.”
Story has now hit a combined .281/.359/.548 with 16 home runs, 56 RBI and 15 stolen bases between the two levels. He will start at shortstop for the Isotopes on Tuesday in the series opener against the Salt Lake Bees at 7:05 p.m.