2:22 PM ET
The concern in the fantasy baseball world with All-Star shortstop Trevor Story leaving the Colorado Rockies and surprisingly signing with the Boston Red Sox is obvious. He no longer gets to play half his games in altitude at Denver’s Coors Field. Boston’s Fenway Park is still a friendly place to hit, however, and Story is a terrific hitter. Yes, the home/road splits for his career are quite telling, featuring an OPS more than 200 points higher in home games (and a batting average 62 points better), but this is hardly unusual for Rockies hitters. Fantasy managers need to be fair, too.
For example, 3B Nolan Arenado hit 34 home runs last season, his first with the St. Louis Cardinals after leaving the Rockies. Infielder DJ LeMahieu bashed a career-best 26 home runs in his first season with the New York Yankees, and won a batting title in his second. Story is not going to fall apart at the plate this season, but everyone should be realistic about expectations. Story hit .251 with only 24 home runs in 2021, even with the aid of his home ballpark. His .800 OPS was his lowest since the 2017 season. BABIP played a role, as Story’s fell below .330 for the first time (it was .293) and he hit too many groundballs. He likely knows this, and he will make adjustments.
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Story, 29, remains a high-contact hitter with power and speed, and this combination is going to play regardless of which team he joined. With Boston, he should pepper the short left-field wall for plenty of doubles, and there is little reason for concern in the running game. Story has stolen 20 bases in each of the last three full seasons. We await word on which lineup spot he will occupy, but he could end up just about anywhere, be it before the power-laden tier of 3B Rafael Devers, SS Xander Bogaerts and OF/DH J.D. Martinez, or after it. Either way, solid numbers worthy of the third or fourth round — regardless of scoring format — should be there.
With Bogaerts likely keeping his longtime spot at shortstop, Story, who has never played any other position other in his six MLB seasons and 745 games, figures to move to second base. In that vein, Story will add a new position to his eligibility in mid-April, much as Marcus Semien did a season ago. This can often be rather helpful in fantasy, so there’s little downside in that department.
Source: ESPN MLB