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Alan Trejo probably should have been the starting second baseman

Trejo continued to show he’s a serviceable big league infielder, but lost playing time to veterans.

Welcome to the 2023 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back at every player to log playing time for the Rockies in 2023. The purpose of this list is to provide a snapshot of the player in context. The “Ranking” is an organizing principle that’s drawn from Baseball Reference’s WAR (rWAR). It’s not something the staff debated. We’ll begin with the player with the lowest rWAR and end up with the player with the highest.

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No. 30, Alan Trejo: 0.0 rWAR

Alan Trejo started his 2023 season as the starting shortstop for third place Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. While Trejo’s bat was relatively quiet during the tournament—hitting just .150/.292/.150—his defensive skills were on full display. His infield defense was invaluable for Team Mexico and it thrust him into the spotlight.

“I think that I take a lot of pride in my defense. And I don’t like messing up in practice, let alone in the game.” Trejo said, “So I think just going into the games, I try to be as fluid and natural as I can be. Let my practice kind of dictate where I’m at.”

Having made the most of limited playing time in 2022 with a .271/.312/.424 line and following that up with his defensive showcase in the World Baseball Classic, Trejo entered spring training this year looking for an expanded role off the bench.

When starting second baseman Brendan Rodgers was injured early in the spring it looked like that expanded role was within reach. However, the Colorado Rockies instead moved Ryan McMahon to second in order to facilitate playing time for Elehuris Montero at third. Veteran utilityman Harold Castro was also selected for the Opening Day Roster. When McMahon moved back to the hot corner, it was Castro taking the bulk of second base reps.

Trejo finished the season hitting .232/.288/.343 with 11 doubles and four home runs, driving in 26 runs. He also capitalized on his solid speed, stealing five bases in six attempts. Trejo is capable of decent pop with a bat in his hands, but it took him 120 at-bats to finally uncork one in 2023. When he did, however, he made it count. His first home run of the season was an unforgettable walk-off solo shot against the visiting New York Yankees.

Trejo did enjoy more playing time this year compared to his two previous campaigns. He played some third base—a skillset he had been working on since last season—and the occasional start at shortstop when rookie Ezequiel Tovar needed a day off.

Overall Trejo appeared in 82 games compared to last year’s 35, but he still struggled to find footing due to inconsistent playing time. He only started in 59 games and was even optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque for a few weeks in mid-June. Meanwhile, Castro and his -1.5 rWAR appeared in 99 games and started in 71. Castro started 56 games at second base, while Trejo had just 37 starts there. When Brendan Rodgers returned early from his injury, it ultimately took away even more playing opportunities for Trejo.

Alan Trejo is playing winter baseball in Mexico this offseason to keep his skills sharp for 2024 spring training. With Harold Castro outrighted from the 40-man roster, his goal will be to seize the utilityman role for Opening Day next season.