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Should the Rockies consider trading Alan Trejo?

Colorado Rockies news and links for Thursday, March 16, 2023

As the World Baseball Classic slowly moves into it’s next stage of competition, Wednesday saw Team Mexico take down Team Canada and move on as the top seed in Pool C. A notable member of Team Mexico is none other than the Colorado Rockies’ very own Alan Trejo who has been the starting shortstop in all four games of pool play. Playing on a national stage, Trejo has had an opportunity to showcase some of his skills on the field, which got me thinking, should the Rockies consider trading Alan Trejo once the WBC is over?

I propose this idea because at this point in time, Trejo doesn’t have much of a spot on the Rockies’ current roster. Ezequiel Tovar practically has a stranglehold on the starting job at shortstop. Ryan McMahon is taking over at second base in place of Brendan Rodgers, giving Elehuris Montero a chance to shine at third base.

Not to mention, Mike Moustakas is in cape fighting for a likely roster spot as well as Harold Castro, Cole Tucker, and Nolan Jones. From the looks of things, Trejo doesn’t have much opportunity from the Rockies to cement himself as an everyday big leaguer. Yet, that seemed to be a common theme that arose from his playing in the WBC.

On Tuesday night, MLB insider and WBC fanatic Jon Morosi tweeted the following to praise Trejo’s defense.

Each time I watched broadcasters Rich Waltz and Buck Martinez, they echoed the same kind of sentiment that Trejo’s defense was superb and that he also deserves a chance to play every day in the big leagues. Playing on a national stage may be doing the Rockies some favors in helping Trejo’s value rise and become a possible trade target for other teams.

Originally drafted by the Rockies in the 16th round of the 2017 draft, Trejo quickly and consistently moved through the minor league system until he made his major league debut in 2021. In his first professional season with the Grand Junction Rockies in 2017, Trejo batted .347/.388/.566 with seven home runs and 32 RBI in 46 games.

Over the course of five minor league seasons he has played, Trejo batted .279/.325/.481 with 65 home runs and 272 RBI. He belted double-digit home runs in four of those season, and drove in at least 30 runs every year. Trejo has more than proven himself as a quality hitter when given an everyday and consistent role in the minors. He has also managed to showcase that fact in the majors during the 2022 season.

In just 35 games with the Rockies last season, Trejo batted .271/.312/.424 with four home runs and 17 RBI. Trejo saw a small sample of regular action at the beginning of April where he finished the month with an OPS of .649 and a .257 AVG. He then disappeared off the roster until September, where he played in an everyday role until the end of the season. In that 24 game span, Trejo went off with a .291/.341/.468 slash line, three home runs, and 11 RBI. Strikeouts have always been a problem, but he also has a knack for making quality contact.

With the way the Rockies are operating right now, it’s hard to find a place for Trejo to get the at-bats that he needs during the regular season. His struggles in 2021 came from irregular opportunity to hit where got just 50 plate appearances in 28 games.

His 2023 spring training is respectable, al beit a small sample size of seven games, but he is batting .250/.368/.500 with a home run. He had been looking to factor into the conversation at second base, but with the WBC and other moves it’s given others a chance in camp, unforutnately, that may have gone to him instead.

He hasn’t exactly been the offensive spark for Team Mexico in the WBC, that role belongs to others, but he has still been a contributer. In their exhibition game against the Rockies on March 9 — a game the Rockies were humiliated 11-1 — Trejo contributed a two-run single in the fifth inning to extend Mexico’s lead 4-1.

During their game against Team USA — big win for Mexico — Trejo tacked on another run in the top of the eighth to give Team Mexico an 11-2 lead (they went on to win 11-5).

Then, during a tight game with Great Britain on March 14 in a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning, Trejo ended up drawing his second walk of the game and ultimately scored the winning run on a hit by Alexis Wilson to make it a 2-1 ball game.

Thus far in the WBC, Trejo is batting just .231/.375/.231 with eight strikeouts and three walks, but it’s his glove that truly helping his value. Unfortunately, the footage is sorely lacking of Trejo’s offensive plays in both the WBC and big league games in general, but we know anecdotally that he is a solid defender.

If one were to look at his metrics on FanGraphs it doesn’t paint a beautiful picture, but that is also because just hasn’t played that much. For instance, in 189 13 innings at shortstop in the big leagues, Trejo has a .949 fielding percentage after just four errors. He initially struggled when he was drafted, but year after year has cut down on errors into a more manageable and reasonable amount. As a result, his Defensive Runs Saved comes in at -4 at shorstop, while his UZR/150 is a little more respectable at 4.0.

We still haven’t seen all that Trejo can provide defensively on a larger scale, but the WBC is giving him a chance to showcase his skills for scouts and the world to see.

The Rockies can’t afford to continue to string guys along and hope they produce off the bench. Trejo has shown that he benefits more from a consistent workload as opposed to single at-bat once a day. If the Rockies are hellbent on filling the roster with guys like Harold Castro, it may be best to look for an opportunity to move Trejo and give him a chance somewhere else.

It won’t be a franchise changing move, but perhaps they could acquire another Triple-A caliber starting pitcher that provides some depth they sorely need. Otherwise, he may end up wasting away on the bench or in Albuquerque waiting for the day that someone struggles enough or gets injured enough to open a door for Trejo to get the playing time he deserves with a team he can truly help.

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McMahon hopes to unleash potential with power-sharing plan |

Ryan McMahon is having a nice spring thus far and that is thanks in part to some advice from hitting coach Hensley Meulens that was passed on through Brendan Rodgers. It boils down to the idea that pitcher’s are supplying 50% of the power needed to hit the ball with power, so McMahon has been working on shortening his swing to get to the ball and supply his 50% of power.

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