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Story centered on new-look Rockies, not contract

DENVER — Trevor Story’s precedence listing this season consists of being a extra vocal chief, taking his base stealing to a different degree, crushing early-count fastballs and honing his footwork within the subject.

Not close to the highest of the listing: Fretting about his long-term future with the Colorado Rockies. That is outdoors his base path.

The hard-swinging, smooth-fielding shortstop is within the final 12 months of his deal and mentioned he hasn’t engaged in talks with the Rockies. He brings star energy to a franchise that lately traded its greatest identify, eight-time Gold Glove winner Nolan Arenado, to St. Louis.

Story, 28, seems in line for a hefty payday, too, after San Diego and shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. finalized a $340 million, 14-year contract.

“I’m focused on personally being the best teammate I can be,” Story mentioned Tuesday because the Rockies started full-squad exercises in Scottsdale, Arizona. “I try not to look too far ahead.

“I am attempting to be the place my toes are, which is true right here in spring coaching with the Rockies.”

This version of the Rockies will certainly have a different look. In addition to Arenado’s departure, they’re without outfielder David Dahl (now with Texas) and versatile veteran Ian Desmond, who opted out for a second straight season.

“It is a good vibe, although,” said Story, who’s scheduled to make around $18.5 million this season. “I really feel like guys are excited to play ball. It opens up quite a lot of alternatives for some younger guys. I believe they’re able to step into that problem.”

It wasn’t too long ago that he was the one meeting that challenge. The season after the Rockies traded away disgruntled shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, Story stepped in and claimed the position (he hit six homers over his first four games). Story has blossomed into a two-time All-Star.

He is always looking for ways to take his game to an even higher plateau. This season, that includes improving his footwork at shortstop (he was not pleased with a career-low .961 fielding percentage) and jumping on more fastballs (he’s already an aggressive hitter). He also has an eye on earning a membership in the 30-homer, 30-stolen base club, which he nearly achieved in 2018 (37 homers, 27 stolen bases) and ’19 (35, 23).

Recently, the MLB Network aired the “High 10 Gamers Proper Now” for each position and Story checked in at No. 1, ahead of Tatis, Boston’s Xander Bogaerts and Francisco Lindor of the New York Mets.

“It feels good,” Story said of the ranking. “However I’ve by no means been motivated by something aside from myself or my very own ideas. I actually attempt to make it about myself and the way I can enhance my sport annually.

“It’s a super-competitive, super-talented (list of) shortstops. I think we all push each other in one way or another, even if we know it or not.”

It will take some getting used to: Arenado not being on the left aspect of the infield with him. Arenado requested a commerce after rising more and more sad with the entrance workplace for not enhancing the roster with an eye fixed towards catching perennial NL West-power the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“Sad for sure to lose a guy like that, lose a player like that,” Story mentioned. “Happy for him that he’s going to be in a spot that he’s happy. A lot of whirlwind emotions. It’s tough to lose a guy like that.”

As for a way Arenado’s scenario would possibly affect Story’s eventual choice, he defined that it is “separate.”

“Obviously, two different situations. I’m not here to just speak on what happened with Nolan or any type of things that went on with him and the front office or whatever it may be,” mentioned Story, who hit .289 with 11 homers, 28 RBI and 15 stolen bases final 12 months in an abbreviated season because of the pandemic. “It’s a separate situation for sure. … We’ll see where it goes.”

After years of being mentored by the likes of Arenado, outfielder Charlie Blackmon and Desmond, Story’s seeking to pay the data ahead.

“That’s something that I’m going to embrace,” Story mentioned. “I’m going to talk to the young guys and let them know that I’m here for them.”

He understands that in gentle of the Arenado commerce, the Rockies are already being dismissed. They’re embracing the underdog position as they attempt to make it again to the playoffs after lacking out the previous two seasons.

“I feel like you count a group of competitors out like that at this level, at the major league level, you instantly put a chip on their shoulder,” Story mentioned. “That’s kind of the attitude we’re coming in with.”

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