Story, 21, hit .332/.436/.582 in 218 plate appearances for High-A Modesto. Since returning from the disabled list on June 19, the 2011 first-round draft pick is 8-for-20 with a pair of home runs, three doubles and a triple.
Story did not perform well as a 20-year-old in the California League a year ago, hitting just .233/.305/.394 while striking out 183 times in 554 plate appearances. However, he came around slowly in the second half after a dreadful start was was playing against competition that was, on average, three years his superior.
The native of Irving, Texas entered the 2013 season as the No. 34 overall prospect in the game according to Baseball Prospectus. Scouts and analysts alike soured on the young shortstop after his poor season, but most -- including Minor League Ball's John Sickels -- still agreed on Story's big-time upside entering his repeat year in High-A. Here's what Sickels had to say, with a very thought-provoking statement at the end:
I have been a Story advocate so his struggles in the Cal League were disappointing. He still has intriguing power/speed potential and I still like his defensive tools, but his strikeout issues are alarming, even with his fast start in the Cal League this year it is still worrisome. This would be the equivalent of his junior year in college. How would he be viewed if he were heading into the '13 draft?
Story is so young and was facing competition so much more advanced than him that it was hard to put too much stock into his failures in 2013. Yes, there are some issues -- even though he's improved, Story has still whiffed at a rate of more than once per game this season. But the kind of improvement he's shown while still two years young for the league is very encouraging. Now he'll make one of the biggest possible jumps within the ranks of minor league baseball. If he can hold his own, there's a chance Story could be ready for a cup of coffee in the big leagues in 2015, something I didn't think I would say entering the season.