New chapter for Story: NL Rookie of the Month

Rockies shortstop sets several records in April

New chapter for Story: NL Rookie of the Month

SAN DIEGO -- Rockies shortstop Trevor Story's historic April, with a Major League-record-tying 10 home runs among several feats and firsts, was commemorated Monday when he received the National League Rookie of the Month Award. He became the Rockies' first rookie monthly winner since Ian Stewart in July 2008.

Now, Story is on to new challenges.

"After April ended, I took a deep breath and said, 'That's over with. It's time to start a new one,'" Story said.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Story and other #ASGWorthy players

Story, 23, announced his candidacy by hitting two home runs off the D-backs' Zack Greinke on Opening Night, becoming the first player in the modern era to homer twice in his debut in an opener. Story may have had the award locked when he homered a Major League-record seven times in the first six games (April 4-10), thus becoming the first rookie to homer that many times in a six-game stretch. He also was the first player since 1900 whose first four Major League hits were homers.

By month's end, Story's 10 homers surpassed the Cardinals' Albert Pujols (2001) by two for the NL rookie April record and matched the White Sox's Jose Abreu (2014) for the Major League rookie April mark.

Trevor Story joins MLB Tonight

However, Story was as excited about a non-home run -- an opposite-way, two-run triple off D-backs closer Brad Ziegler in the ninth inning Saturday that opened the way to a 5-2 victory -- because it made a difference.

"No doubt. I was pretty pumped up about that one," Story said. "That's my main goal, is to help the team win. To come through in a situation like that, that's what we're here for."

Story's streak of six games with at least one RBI to begin his career (April 4-10) tied Brooklyn's George Shuba (July 2-6, 1948) for the second-longest such streak.

Story catapults Rockies to win

Story's 17 extra-base hits were tied for second-most for a player (since 1900) in his debut month. Joe DiMaggio had 23 in 1936 and Pujols had 17 in 2001.

"It's an honor to be recognized with guys like that, but I don't try to look back on it too much -- a little bit, but I don't pay too much attention to it," Story said.

Story led Major League rookies in April with 20 RBIs, 19 runs scored and three triples, while his .261 batting average (24-for-92) was tied for sixth.

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Among rookies who received votes were Cardinals infielder Aledmys Diaz (.423, 18 runs, 30 hits, four homers, 13 RBIs, .732 slugging percentage, .453 on-base percentage) and outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker (.317, 11 runs, 20 hits, five homers, 13 RBIs, .683 slugging percentage); and Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda (3-1, 1.41 ERA, 28 strikeouts in 32 innings).

Story entered Monday tied with the Tigers' Justin Upton for the Major League lead in strikeouts with 39, but he understands the root cause.

"I think, not miss my pitch," Story said. "I think that leads to a lot of other things, [including] the strikeouts. I think if I take care of my pitch and put it in play, that will wipe out everything else. It's not fouling the balls off, it's squaring them up."

Rockies manager Walt Weiss said the way Story approaches the area he needs to improve suggests a confident player.

"Even the terminology is aggressive and positive; it's not negative or passive," Weiss said. "Sometimes when guys talk about two-strike hitting, it's very passive language, and I don't like that. There may be a mental adjustment that you need to make with two strikes, but I don't like changing your swing. You may cut down on effort just a tad. I like the fact he's talking aggressively about how to deal with it."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. 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.