Trevor Story had plenty of time for bat flips on Thursday. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
STATS & ANALYSIS

Trevor Story: The Numbers Behind His Massive Night for the Red Sox

Trevor Story changed the back of his baseball card with three swings on May 19. Here’s how his numbers ballooned — and started to match his contract.

It’s a long, long season, folks, and Trevor Story is signed to a long, long contract.

Boston’s prize acquisition of the 2021 offseason was off to, shall we say, a slow start for the Red Sox, exacerbated by the team limping into Thursday with a 15-22 record and hoping to hold off Baltimore to keep ahead of last place in the AL East.

It’s funny how much one game can change things. Especially in May.

The Red Sox beat the Mariners on Thursday, 12-6, behind a career night from Story. While it’s just one game and Story could just as easily post an 0-fer on Friday, Red Sox fans should enjoy this moment and marvel at how drastically the man’s statistical outlook changed in just a single game.

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The Story Line

On Thursday, Story went 4-4 with 3 home runs, 7 RBI, one walk, five runs scored, and one stolen base.

After one night at the office:

  • His 2022 batting average had increased by 25 points (.205 to .230)
  • His RBI total increased by 43.75% from 16 to 23
  • His home run total jumped 150% from two to five

The Story Changes

Here’s what that one game did to his season statistics 38 games in.

Before Thursday:

.205 BA | .293 OBP | .320 SLG | .613 OPS | 2 HR | 16 RBI | 79 wRC+ | -2.9 wRAA | .279 wOBA | .291 BABIP

After Thursday:

.230 BA | .317 OBP | .413 SLG | .730 OPS | 5 HR | 23 RBI | 111 wRC+ | 2.0 wRAA | .324 wOBA | .300 BABIP

Okay, a lot of those numbers are still a far cry from what Story put up in Colorado, but Thursday’s outburst brought him a lot closer to respectability. Perhaps nowhere else is this more evident than in his weighted numbers, which take into account a variety of factors beyond the box score. With three home runs, his weighted on-base average (wOBA) shot up 45 points, while his normal OBP got a respectable 17-point bump. The difference? Weighted on-base favors methods of reaching base that earn you multiple bases (a home run is more valuable than a double, which is more valuable than a single).

The change in his wRC+ was just as comical. wRC+ measures the number of runs a player creates, adjusted for ballpark and league average, which is always set at 100. In one night, Story went from decidedly below average in wRC+ (79) to a better-than-league-average 111.

But of course, the simplest hook for summarizing his night is that his season home run total more than doubled. Even a casual fan won’t have much trouble internalizing that one.

Story (on the) Books

Story hit free agency after six seasons with the Colorado Rockies in which he hit 158 home runs, stole 100 bases, and won two Silver Sluggers at shortstop. That made the 29-year-old due for a big payday last winter, and Boston delivered, signing Story to a massive six-year deal with a seventh-year team option.

Trevor Story’s Contract

Figures via Spotrac

Years: 6 (guaranteed)
Total Value: $140,000,000
Average Value: $23,333,333
2022 Salary: $20,000,000
Team Option: $25,000,000 with a $5 million buyout

Total Career Earnings after Contract (estimated): $167,065,463

We can’t draw any conclusions about this contract fewer than 40 games into Story’s Red Sox tenure — as much as angry Sox fans may have wanted to before last night. Any analysis here is subject to a bevy of qualifiers like “if he doesn’t get injured,” “if he keeps this pace,” or “if a hypnotist doesn’t make him cluck like a chicken.”

That said, we’ve already determined that 1 fWAR was worth about $5,380,791.93 on the free agent market this offseason. With last night’s game, Story has now accrued 0.9 fWAR this season, putting him on track for 3.8 WAR over the course of a 162-game campaign. That would make him worth $20.6 million this season, which is slightly more than he is due to make in 2022 but a little less than the average yearly value of his contract.

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