Heading into 2023, Alan Trejo was projected to be a key utility infielder that the Colorado Rockies could deploy when they need a quality defensive glove to back up their projected starters. However, after a severe injury to Brendan Rodgers and defensive struggles by Elehuris Montero, Trejo now finds himself as a regular in the Colorado lineup at second base. Luckily for Trejo, his experience in the World Baseball Classic as the starting shortstop for Team Mexico left a lasting impact on him coming into the season and helped showcase that he deserves the opportunities afforded him.
Over the course of the WBC, Trejo started six games for Team Mexico during their surprising and exciting run to an eventual semi-final loss to Team Japan. Despite batting just .150/.292/.150 in 20 at-bats, Trejo was a key piece for Mexico thanks to his incredible defense on the field.
“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.”
“Being able to move all over the infield, you know, being able to play second and third and wherever else they want to put me, I think that definitely helps being a shortstop first.” During the WBC, broadcasters and media pundits both praised and marveled at Trejo’s defense like the one below.
His versatility has been a usual tool for the Rockies in 2023. Entering Wednesday, he has played 11 games at second base, eight games at third base, five games at shortstop, and has one appearance on the mound. Regardless of the results at the plate, Trejo’s defense hasn’t suffered and anywhere he plays, he is able to make stellar plays like this one against Cleveland below.
“My routine is very detailed,” said Trejo, and for a team that is currently leading the league in errors they need more defense like what Trejo can provide.
Growth in Mexico
Over the weekend, it was announced that the Rockies would be heading south of the border to take on the Houston Astros in the Mexico series next season. After the exciting debut series between the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres, Mexico proved that baseball is continually growing for an incredibly passionate fanbase.
The impact of the series wasn’t lost on Trejo on Sunday. “I think it’s great. When you have big league teams going down to Mexico and playing big league games, I think it’s going to be a wonderful opportunity.”
“Regardless, the fans showed OUT out there, they absolutely loved it. And I think it’s gonna have a really good impact on the youth in Mexico” said Trejo, “now there are kids now going to see ‘oh, wow, Manny Machado or Xander Bogaerts or Juan Soto.’ They’re going to start seeing guys like that in big-league uniforms in Mexico, so it’s a little bit more of a true feel for guys like that. So I think it’s definitely gonna continue to build and grow the game in Mexico.”
While playing in the WBC, Trejo had the first-hand experience of playing for those types of Mexican crowds and the exciting environment they provide, something that was quite unlike anything he’s experienced with Colorado.
“I’ve never played in the game [with] kind of like that Latin experience, where you have fans cheering throughout the whole game, where music blasts every single pitch.” said Trejo, “And I think that if you’re not used to that atmosphere, they can get to get to you a little bit. And I think just being able to breathe and being able to just assess the moment and use that energy instead, kind of alters the stakes. I think I learned a lot from that.”
Applying Lessons from the WBC
Moving forward, Trejo will have the chance to prove he deserves to be a big-league starter and perhaps 2023 could be his best opportunity. After a 9-20 in March/April to start the season and injuries opening up space on the roster, the road is clear for Trejo’s destiny. His defense is proven, and he has shown what can happen when he locks in at the plate. The WBC was a chance to play on one of the biggest stages in baseball for Trejo and its impact will be felt for years.
“I think that was probably the best baseball I’ve ever played in my life. Just emotionally.” Trejo recalled, “Obviously, the competitiveness with every team in that tournament was at an all-time high. Teams like Japan, like Puerto Rico, like the U.S.A, Canada, like those top-level teams, and it was definitely a good experience.”
Alan Trejo has come a long way since being drafted in the 16th round by the Rockies in 2017. He’s proven himself at every level of the minors as well as the world’s stage. Now, the time is ripe for him to prove himself with the Colorado Rockies so that he can join them on that trip to Mexico next season and continue to implement the lessons he’s learned from the WBC and Mexico itself.
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On the Farm
Triple-A: Sugar Land Space Cowboys 14, Albuquerque Isotopes 3
Albuquerque scratched across three runs on seven hits, but were held scoreless after the second inning. Josh Rogers started the game and allowed four runs, but only one was earned due to errors. Stephen Jones and Will Gaddis took the brunt of the damage, allowing eight runs combined, six earned.
Double-A: Reading Fightin Phils 6, Hartford Yard Goats 4 (F/11)
Kyle Datres hit his first home run of the season while Hunter Goodman and Bladimir Restituyo had two hits each. Nick Garcia started on the mound and allowed four runs in five innings of work with six strikeouts and no walks. Nick Kuzia took the loss after allowing two runs in the top of the eleventh inning.
High-A: Eugene Emeralds 11, Spokane Indians 6
Gabriel Hughes was cruising through four innings but ran into trouble in the fifth inning. He ended up lasting 4 2⁄3 innings and was stung for eight runs in the fifth, including two home runs. Offensively, Juan Guerrero, Braxton Fulford, and Zach Kokoska had two hits apiece. Kokoska hit his third home run of the year while Jordan Beck hit his fourth of the year.
Low-A: Stockton Ports 9, Fresno Grizzlies 5
Andy Perez drove in three runs with a double and triple on the night. Caleb Franzen allowed four runs in five innings in his start, but Carlos Torres took the loss after allowing five runs in an 1 1⁄3 innings of work.
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