You’ve heard the “Story” but have you heard of White and Hazelbaker?
I decided I couldn’t be the only writer/blogger/columnist on the internet who just somehow skipped over the “Story” of the season. Being mostly assigned to the A’s and AL West, Trevor Story isn’t exactly within my jurisdiction, so to speak. But for those of you who may not be as obsessed with baseball as I am or else have been living under a rock Trevor Story is the Colorado Rockies’ new young shortstop.
We may never have seen the 23-year-old Story become the biggest story of the young 2016 season, if not for the legal troubles of Jose Reyes. Reyes is on paid administrative leave while his domestic abuse case is still being examined by MLB, even though the charges that had him in court have been dropped.
He hits like Troy Tulowitzki, who is now with the Toronto Blue Jays, and while his defense is still developing, it’s certainly not bad. Plus, it isn’t exactly easy to replace a defender like Tulo.
Story has played in six games and hit a record-setting hit seven home runs. Making Story the first player to hit seven home runs in his team’s first six games. Larry Walker (1997), Mike Schmidt (1976) and Willie Mays (1964) had each hit six. That’s pretty amazing company he’s got there and he’ been even better.
He is currently hitting .333/.357/1.111 with his seven homers and 12 RBI’s. In fact he, alone, has hit more home runs this season than 16 of the 30 MLB teams. Pretty insane. He was, of course named NL Player of the Week and was joined in the AL with another newcomer, Tyler White, of the Houston Astros.
The Astros must now be pretty sure they made the right decision. White, 25, was drafted by the Astros in the 33rd round of the 2013 draft and after appearing in six games the new kid is hitting an insane slashline of .556/.591/1.167 with three home runs and nine RBI. As I write this he is currently going 2-4 in tonight’s home opener against the regining World Champion Kansas City Royals (so his slashline will be subject to change slightly).
However, have you heard of the 28-year-old Jeremy Hazelbaker? Neither had I until today. The 28-year-old was taken by the Boston Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2009 amateur draft. He finally made his big league debut this season as the center fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals.
And he’s made quite a splash like the above mentioned younger players. Monday, Hazelbaker went 4-4 against the Milwaukee Brewers and was just a home run short of the cycle. He’s played in all seven of the Cardinals’ games this season and is hitting a cool .400/.444/.867 (also subject to change as it hasn’t been updated on Baseball-Reference yet) with two home runs and four RBI.
Of course there are more up and coming young players such as the Rangers’ Nomar Mazara and I wouldn’t be too surprised if you end up seeing the Oakland A’s top pitching prospect Sean Manaea this season as well.
However, since I hadn’t yet written about Trevor Story, I figured I would give you a peak into a few of the rookies that are making big waves in the major leagues in this first week of the 2016 season!