Rox prospect Story shows raw power with HR

Rox prospect Story shows raw power with HR

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Until a year and a half ago, Rockies shortstop Trevor Story struggled with staying even during the professional season's highs and lows. Now, with a chance to earn a Major League starting job, Story has to deal with a high -- an eye-catching three-run homer in his first Spring Training start during a 6-5 victory over the D-backs on Thursday.

Story, 23, a supplemental first-round pick out of Irving (Texas) High School in 2011, launched his homer to dead center on a cutter by D-backs righty Zack Godley on a 2-2 pitch with one out in the third inning.

The shot was estimated at 442 feet by Statcast™ and was a stunning early impression, but early nonetheless.

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"The more you play, you realize it's a long season and this is a long Spring Training, too," Story, the Rockies' No. 11 prospect, said.

The homer came after a double by Cristhian Adames, who is competing for shortstop but started Thursday at second, and a walk by Charlie Blackmon.

"I'm not even worried about results, really; just having solid at-bats and effective at-bats," said Story, who hit 20 combined home runs at Double-A New Britain and Triple-A Albuquerque last year. "To be honest with you, I was just trying to hit that ball to right field. My two-strike approach is to just stay inside it."

The thought process is what manager Walt Weiss wants.

"You always want to get off to a good start, make a good first impression, and he certainly did," Weiss said. "It's where the big boys go -- he's shown that power, has got ability to hit the ball a long ways. The key with Trevor is to set his sights to the big part of the field and not try to do those things. With his ability, it'll happen."

Worth noting

• The Rockies are adding coated chain-link fencing to raise the height of the right-center-field wall at Coors Field by eight feet, to 16 feet, 6 inches, to prevent line-drive home runs that make it unfair for pitchers. But balls hitting a fence of that composition will tend not to carom far from the wall.

But what if the Rockies had gone with taut netting? Theoretically, a net would create a carom that could give the outfielder a chance to steal an out with a strong throw. Also, with the netting starting 7 feet, 9 inches off the ground, it would not be a safety issue for a fielder who could have his spikes caught in the net. But general manager Jeff Bridich said there are reasons the Rockies went with fencing.

"There was just a need for material consistency in what we already have," Bridich said. "At some point, you have to consider the aesthetics of what's already out there, what's been out there, and make that decision. It's pretty rigid fencing.

"We'll just have to see how it plays."

• Righty Jordan Lyles yielded a first-pitch triple to Nick Ahmed in the first inning and a leadoff double to Jason Lamb in the second in his Cactus League debut. Lyles, who was limited to 11 starts last season because of a right big toe ligament injury that required surgery, yielded two runs on three hits, and struck out two with no walks.

"Next time out, I'll work on the curveball and changeup again; I would say I'm going to get three innings," Lyles said. "My changeup was pretty good, for the most part, today and I threw the curveball for a couple of strikes."

• Rockies righty Eddie Butler hit 98 mph during his two innings. He yielded two runs on four hits, with a strikeout and strikes on 22 of his 34 pitches. The runs scored on three straight hits with two outs in the third inning, Butler's first. The lessons were clear.

"Last year, I was behind a lot, and I started getting hit around and that's when they scored the runs," said Butler, a supplemental first-round pick in 2012 who went 3-10 with a 5.90 ERA in 16 Major league starts last year. "Today, all those counts were hitters' counts, every one of them. If you get ahead, you can attack with what you want."

• Center fielder David Dahl, the Rockies' top pick (10th overall) in 2012, doubled in a run and singled during the ninth-inning rally.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to Podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.