Alan Trejo made his debut for the Colorado Rockies in 2021 before he ever played a game at the Triple-A level.
Trejo has always been well-regarded defensively at shortstop but he needed to develop his bat more. He ended playing 28 games at the MLB level and in 50 plate appearances, he struggled as he hit .217/.260/.326.
However, he did develop the bat more at Triple-A Albuquerque as, in 90 games there, he hit .278/.324/.569 with 34 doubles, six triples, 17 homers, and 72 RBI. If he had 650 plate appearances (essentially a full MLB season), that would be equivalent to 53 doubles, nine triples, 27 homers, and 112 RBI.
If he could have that at the MLB level, frankly, the Rockies have their everyday shortstop of the future. But there’s a big difference between stadiums in the Triple-A West (the Pacific Coast League prior to 2020) and MLB stadiums and there’s a big difference between Triple-A pitching and facing MLB pitching.
Colorado Rockies infielder Alan Trejo’s 2022 projections are not great
ZiPS projects that Alan Trejo get more playing time for the Colorado Rockies in 2022 but he will still struggle at the plate.
It projects that he will hit .233/.275/.385 with 13 homers, 47 RBI, and an OPS+ of 64. However, because of his defense, he is still projected to have an fWAR of 0.2.
The problem with ZiPS and other projection systems is that it has a wide margin of error on players with little to no MLB service time. That’s why baseball is played on not thrown into a computer spreadsheet.
But the Rockies are, seemingly, a little bit apprehensive to turn the everyday shortstop reigns over to Trejo and that’s understandable. That’s part of the reason why they have at least entertained the thought of having Ryan McMahon at shortstop in 2021.
However, the Rockies did that in 2016 with Trevor Story, and look at what happened. He flourished.
In 2015, Story was the Rockies #13 prospect. He was behind Eddie Butler, Forrest Wall, Raimel Tapia, Tom Murphy, Dom Nuñez, Rosell Herrera, and Ryan Castellani. Entering 2016, Story was #11 behind some of the names above and Jeff Hoffman. None of those guys are projected to get a huge free agent contract this offseason but Story is.
Trejo isn’t even among the Rockies top 30 prospects, though, and never has been so it’s much more of a leap of faith for Trejo to do that. Is that to say that he can’t become a great MLB player? No, but he still needs some development to be able to say “he’s an everyday shortstop in the majors,” let alone an All-Star shortstop like Story.
Do the Colorado Rockies want him to develop by playing every day at the MLB level, in the majors but on the bench, or in Triple-A again? That’s a question that we’ll get an answer to after the lockout but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rockies utilize him more in the majors in 2022 than they did in 2021.