It’s been a little while since Colorado Rockies fans could associate hope with the shortstop position.

If you want to circle a date, go with July 28, 2015, the day Colorado traded franchise shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to the Toronto Blue Jays for a package that included Tulo’s ostensible replacement—Jose Reyes.

Eight months and a glut of Reyes-related problems later, a potential Tulowitzki heir has emerged.

It’s too early to anoint Trevor Story anything. The 23-year-old rookie is a scant two games into his big league career, which is hardly enough to even be called a small sample.

But boy, howdy—so far, so great.

On Monday at Chase Field in Arizona, Story launched a pair of home runs off $206.5 million man Zack Greinke in a 10-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. He followed that smashing debut with another dinger Tuesday—this one off the D-Backs’ Shelby Miller.

No, Story probably won’t hit 243 home runs this season, though he is on pace to do just that. But the Rockies must love what they’ve seen.

Story’s teammates have, too, as they showed by playfully hazing the rook following his Greinke-slaying performance.

“Right when I walked into the clubhouse, they threw me into a laundry cart and rolled me into the shower and sprayed me with who knows what,” Story said Monday, per the Denver Post‘s Patrick Saunders. “It was cold. It was great.”

Story won the shortstop job Reyes left vacant—more on that in a moment—by hitting .340 with six home runs and showing solid glove work in the Cactus League.

A supplemental first-round pick out of Texas‘ Irving High School in 2011, Story posted a .279/.350/.514 slash line between Double-A and Triple-A in 2015 and was ranked No. 8 among Colorado’s prospects by Baseball America in November.

His opportunity to start on Opening Day, however, arose from his teammate’s off-field issues. After posting an anemic .659 OPS in 47 games with the Rockies last year, Reyes was allegedly involved in an altercation with his wife at a Hawaii resort during the offseason.

Prosecutors may drop the domestic abuse charge against Reyes, per, but Major League Baseball could still suspend the four-time All-Star under its new domestic violence policy. Reyes, who is owed $22 million this season, is currently on paid leave and not with the team.

That could have cast a pall over Story winning the job, and it could have made his accomplishment feel like a Band-Aid over a festering wound.

Quite to the contrary, skipper Walt Weiss insisted.

“I wanted him to know he earned this,” Weiss said Saturday, per Mike Cranston of the Associated Press (via CBS Denver). “I always say it’s tough to predict even a week out in this game. So we tend not to go there. [But] I expect him to play really well.”

Thus far, he’s played historically well, as ESPN Stats & Info noted:

Yes, to repeat, we’re talking about two measly games. The list of players who’ve gone supernova for two games—or a week or even a month—and never sniffed greatness is too long to recount.

Still, what a cool story (pun sort of intended). A rebuilding team searching for sparks getting an eye-opening performance from a fresh-faced kid at a position that has lately been nothing but heartache and consternation. What’s not to like?

To dredge up Tulo’s name again—which is something Story might as well get used to—here’s another striking fact, courtesy of C.J. Nitkowski of Fox Sports 1:

No, that doesn’t mean Story will do what Tulowitzki did in a Rockies uniform. Tulo made four All-Star teams, won two Gold Gloves and enjoyed three top-10 MVP finishes with Colorado. That’s quite a legacy.

The only thing Story’s great start means is he’s off to a great start.

Actually, here’s something else it means: If and when Reyes returns from his exile and any suspension MLB hands down, the Rockies should keep starting Story indefinitely.

Will sending Reyes to the bench cause friction behind the scenes? Maybe. Would releasing him outright mean eating an absurd amount of cash and wiping some egg off some faces? Most definitely.

But Colorado needs to focus on what’s best for its future. Now is the time to find out what pieces can boost the franchise in 2017, 2018 and beyond. Story could well be one of those pieces, and he’s shown enough early to earn a lot of rope.

Mostly, Rockies fans should rejoice. From the ashes of a painful trade and Reyes’ alleged misconduct, something special has materialized.



All statistics accurate through Tuesday and courtesy of unless otherwise noted.

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