Maybe you're thinking of the 20 homers and .514 slugging percentage Story put up at two levels of the Minors last year, and that's certainly true. But even before this homer barrage, he was on our spring radar: As we noted over the weekend when we looked at big Statcast™ storylines headed into the season, Story was so impressive during camp that he led the 31 hitters who had at least 10 tracked baseballs with a 97.1 mph exit velocity.
It's not like Story's dingers have been well-placed wall-squeakers, either. Look at the exit velocities and launch angles of the four shots:
1. Greinke -- 102.5 mph, 28 degrees
2. Greinke -- 106 mph, 29 degrees
3. Miller -- 107 mph, 30 degrees
4. Corbin -- 108.8 mph, 24 degrees
For context, the Major League average exit velocity in 2015 was 88.7 mph. For even more context, research by Dr. Alan Nathan has concluded that "flyball distance reaches a maximum at launch angles in the vicinity of 25-30 degrees," which is a more complicated way of saying that that hitting the ball hard at that angle is really, really good. How good? When Major League teams hit balls at 100 mph or more at an angle between 25-30 degrees last year, they merely ended up with an .880 batting average and a 3.336 slugging percentage. (Yes, really.)
It's that combination of perfect angle and excellent velocity that has allowed each of Story's most recent three home runs to exceed 430 feet, and that means that in half a week, he's reached a power mark that most shortstops didn't do during the entirety of last season:
Shortstops with at least three home runs of 430 feet in 2015
1. Ian Desmond, 7
2. Jung Ho Kang, 6
3. Troy Tulowitzki, 5
4. Correa, 5
5. Jhonny Peralta, 3
That's it -- five shortstops all last year to do what Story has done in about 96 hours. But even that comes with a caveat. Desmond is now an outfielder for Texas. Five of Kang's homers came while he was playing third base, and he's not likely to play much shortstop in 2016 when he returns from injury.
So will Story keep this up? No, of course not. But he's already made his mark in the history books… and keep this in mind: He's not even had the pleasure of hitting in Coors Field yet. You can probably assume we haven't seen the last of Story's 430-feet homers.