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Rockies’ Trevor Story deserves to be mentioned alongside Javier Báez

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Rockies news and links for June 15, 2019

In the National League, has Story overtaken Baez as leading shortstop? | Mile High Sports
The first update on All-Star voting for the National League was released on Tuesday. It showed Colorado Rockies’ shortstop Trevor Story in fourth place at the position, behind Javier Báez, Dansby Swanson and Corey Seager. Story is within fairly close range of Swanson and Seager, but trails Báez by a whopping 617,946 votes. I certainly beg to differ and am of the opinion that Story has been the best shortstop in the National League in 2019, but that’s not necessarily what I’m looking to discuss today.

This brings up a larger discussion about who has been the better shortstop since Story broke into the league in 2016. Báez and Story are both good hitters (both for average and for power), elite defenders and great baserunners. It hasn’t been a comparison I’ve often seen made, but these two talented shortstops profile as very similar players, though Story exhibits a bit more patience at the plate.

At Mile High Sports, Luke Zahlmann breaks down the play of both and comes to the conclusion that Báez is the better player. I’m sure many would agree. Indeed, Báez has established himself as more of a household name nationally. But it may not be as clear-cut as it seems on the surface. Baseball Prospectus has begun to factor its new DRC+ (Deserved Runs Created Plus) statistic into its WARP calculations, which I believe has cemented their version of Wins Above Replacement as the best option. Since Story entered the league in 2016, he has produced a WARP of 12.9. In that same time, Báez has been worth 9.5 WARP. Story has a slight advantage in the Fielding Runs Above Average, the defensive component of WARP, and an even larger advantage in DRC+.

Yorvis Torrealba, years removed from nightmare kidnapping, gets chance to follow in dad’s footsteps with Rockies | The Athletic ($)
The story of Yorvis Torrealba, son of Yorvit, is one well worth a read. Yorvis was a regular in the Rockies’ clubhouse when his dad played for the team in the late-2000s. He gained valuable information from Rockies’ legends like Todd Helton, Matt Holliday and Carlos González. During this period of his life, Yorvis also faced the tribulation of being abducted and held for ransom in the Torrealba’s home country of Venezuela. Nick Groke of The Athletic has more on this very frightening situation Yorvis found himself in.

Now, Yorvis finds himself in the Rockies’ organization, drafted in the 20th round of this year’s draft after an impressive season for the University of Tampa. The outfielder will be making his debut with the Boise Hawks soon.

The Effect of Outfield Position Changes on DRS | The SIS Blog
Charlie Blackmon was nothing short of atrocious defensively in center field in 2018. Now, he’s playing right field and at least by measure of Defensive Runs Saved, he’s been much better (though still not above average). The same appears true for Adam Jones of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who was moved to a corner this season and seen his numbers improve as well. At the Sports Info Solutions blog, Andrew Kyne explores how players have historically seen their defensive numbers altered when moved to a corner and vice versa.

On the Farm

Ben Bowden (No. 17 PuRP) picked up his 20th save of the season for Hartford on Friday. He has absolutely ripped apart opposing batters in Double-A to the tune of a 1.05 ERA and close to 15 strikeouts per nine innings this season. It’s hard to imagine Bowden remaining in Double-A for much longer.

Triple-A: Oklahoma City Dodgers 5, Albuquerque Isotopes 4

Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats 5, Erie SeaWolves 3

High-A: Inland Empire 66ers 19, Lancaster JetHawks 5

Single-A: Lakewood BlueClaws 7, Asheville Tourists 5 (11 innings)

Short Season-A: Boise Hawks, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes—postponed due to wind.

Rookie: Ogden Raptors 12, Grand Junction Rockies 0

DSL 1: DSL Giants 6, DSL Colorado 5

DSL 2: DSL Rockies 8, DSL Twins 3