The Story Nobody is Talking About
Last week, Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story set the Major League record by hitting seven home runs in his team’s first six games of the 2016 campaign, passing hall of famers Mike Schmidt and Willy Mays, along with former Rockies great, Larry Walker, each of whom had hit six home runs in the first week of a season. What makes his barrage of round trippers even more impressive is that those six games just happened to be his first six games in a Major League uniform. This torrid start to his MLB career has certainly garnered plenty of media attention; any time you break a record held by all-time greats like Schmidt, Mays, and Walker it should absolutely be talked about.
During his first week in Major League baseball, the 2011 first round draft pick collected a .333 batting average with those seven home runs and slugged a whopping 1.111. If you’re more into the sabermetric numbers than the traditional numbers, Story’s start to the season isn’t any less remarkable: His weighted runs created plus (wRC+) stands at 243 according to Fangraphs, meaning that he more than doubled the average league production last week, and his weighted on base average (wOBA) currently stands at .598 (anything over .400 is considered excellent). All in all, Trevor Story’s start to his career has surely been one to remember. But what if I told you that another rookie actually outproduced him last week?
While Story exploded onto the scene with his seven home runs last week, Astros first baseman Tyler White was quietly having a statistically more productive week. No, he didn’t hit more than a half-dozen home runs, but, after his first six games, White had a higher batting average (.556) and a higher slugging percentage (1.167) than Story. Just take a moment to appreciate that: Tyler White had a better slugging percentage through his first six games than a player who hit seven home runs. The advanced metrics tip the scale in White’s favor even more as he has produced a .690 wOBA and a wRC+ of 383. wRC+ measures a player’s offensive performance, with 100 being average, so, while Story was more than doubling league average last week, Tyler White almost quadrupled the Major League average over the past week.
All in all, I am not trying to deny the fact that Trevor Story’s seven home runs to start his career are remarkable, but I believe that White has been the better hitter over the past week, and he has not gotten near the attention that Story has. Chicks do dig the long ball, so it makes sense why Story has captured the attention of so many people across the nation, but if I had to pick one to have on my team, based solely on their first six games, I would take White in a heartbeat.