Sunday, August 14, 2011

Down on the Farm with Rockies Review: An exclusive interview with 45th overall draft pick Trevor Story

Thanks to his agents at Xclusive Sports Management, I had the opportunity to talk with Trevor Story, who the Rockies drafted in the supplemental first round in June with the 45th overall pick.

Story is 18 years old from just outside of Dallas, TX. He was committed to LSU, one of the nations premier baseball schools before the Rockies persuaded him to skip college baseball and begin his professional career.

Story is currently playing in Rookie ball in the Pioneer League with the Casper Ghosts, where he is hitting .286 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 95 at-bats. The Pioneer League is known for its good pitching and tough ballparks to hit in.

At 18 years old, Story is about two years younger than the average player in that league, he is well-known for having a great glove and a strong arm. In high school, reports have him hitting 96 MPH on the radar gun.

Rockies Review will be doing a continued feature with Story as he progresses through the Rockies farm system. Keep your eye out for follow up interviews and updates on the future Rockies’ progress.

Here is the interview:

Rockies Review: Tell Rockies fans a little bit about who you are as a person.

Trevor Story: I would say that I am a very hard worker. I am a proud Texan who loves country music. I enjoy hanging out with my family and my friends.

Rockies Review: You had a great opportunity to play college baseball for one of the best programs in the country (LSU). What about the Rockies made you decide to start your pro career early?

Trevor Story: My whole life I have wanted to play in the big leagues. The Rockies gave me an opportunity to pursue that dream. I really feel like I can develop quickly in their organization. I have enjoyed every minute of it. I don’t regret the decision one bit.

RR: For Rockies fans out there who don’t know too much about you, what big league player would you compare yourself to?

TS: I would say Troy Tulowitzki. He plays the game hard and with determination. He takes pride in the way that he plays the game.

RR: I saw an article when you were in high school where you said that your two favorite players are Derek Jeter and Josh Hamilton. Explain why you really like those guys.

TS: I grew up watching Derek Jeter play shortstop. He is one player who I really try to emulate. He plays the game the right way. It speaks to his talent that he recently got his 3,000th hit. Josh Hamilton is a guy whose story really amazes me, that sold me on him. Both of them are great ambassadors for the game.

RR: What did you know about the Rockies organization before they drafted you?

TS: They really caught my eye during their 2007 run to the World Series. I loved the high energy. I loved watching them. They are a class act organization. I love the way they do things.

RR: You have obviously heard about Coors Field being a very hitter friendly park. Have you had a chance to see Coors Field yet, and what were your thoughts?

TS: I got to take a tour of the field. The team was on a road trip, so I didn’t get to take batting practice like some of the other draft picks had the opportunity to do, but it was a beautiful park. I loved the batter’s eye with the ivy growing up the wall. It is a beautiful park.

RR: What has been the biggest surprise jumping from high school baseball to professional ball?

TS: The speed of the game. The breaking balls break sharper and the fastballs have more velocity. We play nine inning games in the same amount of time that it took to play seven inning games in high school. I feel like I am getting more comfortable and progressing everyday.

RR: Keith Law of ESPN mentioned that you were one of the top fielding high school prospects available in the draft, but that your bat may not have what it takes to play at the big league level. How do you handle critiques like that?

TS: It motivates me. I have definitely heard some of the things that people have said, but I don’t let it bother me. I know that people are going to talk. I know myself as a player, and I know that I will develop as a hitter.

RR: There are several scouting reports out there about you, and they all say the same thing, that you are an extremely hard worker. Talk about how important that is to you.

TS: Playing baseball is a privilege. We have people in this country who are risking their lives for our freedom everyday. The least that I can do is play a game hard everyday. I have an opportunity to play a game for a living. I feel like if I didn’t take advantage of this opportunity that I have every single day that I would be cheating myself and my family.

RR: Have the Rockies talked to you about a plan as far as your development? Where they would like to see you this year, and over the next few years?

TS: No, they are letting me develop at my own pace. Wherever they send me, I will play as hard as I can and do my best to develop into the player that I know I can be. I don’t really have any goals as far as statistics go, I just want to go out and play the game hard every single day.

RR: Talk about the excitement of getting drafted and playing professional baseball.

TS: Since I was a little kid I wanted to play baseball for a living. Coming out of high school I realized that it could actually happen. It was the best feeling of my life so far. Getting out here and finally witnessing the life in pro ball I couldn't be more blessed to have this opportunity.

Talking to Story I was extremely impressed with his maturity. He is very focused on baseball and developing into not just a good player, but the best player that he can be. He is a smart kid who isn’t going to get distracted by the things that a typical 18 year old kid would let get in the way. His focus and determination is far beyond his age. It will be fun to watch Story develop and follow him in his journey to Coors Field.

I would encourage Rockies fans to keep their eye on this prospect. He seems to have his head screwed on right and will eventually make an impact at the big league level.

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