Trevor Story’s self-belief helped him transition from Rockies to Red Sox

Boston Red Sox second baseman Trevor Story seeks balance.

In the batter’s box, on the diamond, in the clubhouse, and in his personal life. But it’s not easy to find your balance when you’re juggling.

Earlier this spring, the former Rockies two-time All-Star signed a six-year, $140 million contract with the Red Sox, moved to a new city, changed agents, agreed to switch from shortstop to second base, and suffered through a horrible slump to begin the season.

And, oh yes, Story and his wife, Mallie, have a baby boy. Stetson Story is two months old.

“Being in the new city, a new team, new position, all of it, was a big transition,” Story said during a phone interview from his hotel room in Anaheim, Calif. “That’s part of the process. I’ve handled it and it feels great now.”

It didn’t feel so great on May 5.

On that Thursday afternoon at Boston’s Fenway Park, Shohei Ohtani struck out Story four times in the Angels’ 8-0 victory. Story’s average fell to .200, he had yet to hit a home run, and the Red Sox were 10-16.

Expectant Red Sox fans booed Story and the Boston media roasted him.

“It hurt at the moment, obviously,” Story said.  “No one wants to hear that or feel that, but it wasn’t unwarranted at the time. That’s the nature of the business in Boston.

“In the moment, it doesn’t feel great, but it’s almost inspiring. It kind of lights that fuel inside you, you know? And you have to roll with the punches. It’s not the first time that’s happened and it won’t be the last.”

Story said he expected the bar to be raised when he departed Colorado for Boston, where the fans and media are much more demanding.

“Coming into Boston as a visiting player you get a good feel for the intensity of the fans and the passion that they bring,” he said. “I knew that coming in. I knew there were high expectations.

“But it’s cool that the fans are so passionate and they care so much. That’s been part of the culture there for a long time.”

Story soon after turned Beantown boos into cheers.

On May 19, he went 4-for-5 with three home runs to lift the Red Sox to a 12-6 win over Seattle. Then Story was named the American League player of the week for May 16-22. During that stretch, he slashed .360/.452/1.120 with six home runs and 14 RBIs.

Still, Story has not consistently produced at the level he believes he can and will. Entering the weekend, he was hitting .230 with nine home runs, 41 RBIs, and a .754 OPS. He’s striking out 31.1% of the time, harkening back to his 2017 season with Colorado when he chased too many pitches and fanned 34.4% of the time.

Story played six seasons for the Rockies, hitting .272 with 158 homers and a .863 OPS. Last summer, Story repeatedly made it clear that he was going to depart the Rockies when he became a free agent at the end of the season.

He said he’s never had a second thought about his decision, even though when he signed with Boston he agreed to play second base because the Red Sox already had Xander Bogaerts at short.

“What I said all of last year was that winning was at the top of the list for me,” he said. “Coming to Boston and switching positions matched up with what I had said.”

After a bad start — Boston was 11-20 on May 11 — the Red Sox started playing quality baseball, winning 19 of their next 27 games. Still, entering the weekend, Boston (30-28) sat in fourth place in the tough American League East, trailing the torrid Yankees (41-16), Tampa Bay (34-23) and Toronto (33-23).

“It’s a very tough division and it’s a great challenge,” Story said. “But we play 162 for a reason and the cream rises to the top, eventually. I feel like we are playing much better ball lately.”

As for his former teammates in Colorado, he said he’ll always have a bond with close friends such as Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon and Ryan McMahon. He frequently exchanges texts with Arenado, now with the Cardinals.

“I Face-timed Chuck the other night after he hit his 200th,” Story said, referring to Blackmon’s pinch-hit, three-run homer at San Francisco Tuesday night that gave Colorado a 5-3 victory.  “That was so cool. And like Chuck said, the timing was great.”

As for the balance Story seeks and craves, he believes he’s finding it.

“I think the way I’ve handled it all, in a way, is no different than just playing baseball every day,” he said. “I’m sticking to my routine and always have belief in myself. That never wavers and that ultimately is going to get me to where I want to be.”

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