Downey's Alan Trejo finding his bat with Hartford Yard Goats

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HARTFORD, CT — Last month the MLB draft took place. More than 1,200 draftees looked to be called and only about 900 will get drafted and sign contracts with hopes that it will lead them to the major leagues.

Unfortunately, more than 700 of those players will never get the chance to fulfill their dream. Especially the later your fall, the smaller your window of opportunity is.

But do not tell that to Downey’s own Alan Trejo. Alan Ray Trejo was born May 30, 1996, in Los Angeles. Son of Ray and Elsa Trejo, he played four seasons of varsity baseball at Warren High School where he played shortstop and pitched.

He was a three-time all-CIF Division 3 first-team honoree after earning second-team all-CIF honors as a freshman. As a senior Trejo compiled a record of 11-0 on the mound while hitting .453. He won the San Gabriel Valley League Pitcher of the Year.

The Colorado Rockies took the infielder in the 16th round of the 2017 draft out of San Diego State. In April of 2019 he was assigned to the Rockies’ Double-A team the Hartford Yard Goats after spending 2018 playing for the Class A Lancaster JetHawks which he hit .278/.329/.425 along with 10 home runs in 114 games.

Trejo still has a road ahead of him but if he keeps developing the way he has, he could achieve his ultimate goal.

Writers like Baseball Writers’ Association of America member and longtime Colorado Rockies’ writer Jack Etkin have wondered how a player like Trejo, who prospered enough to skip a level last year to jump into Double-A in 2019, slid all the way down to the 16th round in the 2017 draft. He is known for his defensive skills, playmaking ability and leadership but had a lot of questions about his offense.

Yard Goat’s Farm director Zach Wilson spoke about that, saying “he didn’t come here as a hitter. And I think that’s probably what held him back from being a higher pick.”

So far this season, Trejo has silenced the doubters with each at bat. For a guy who is not a hitter he is tied for first in home runs, second in RBI’s and second in hits on the team.

For him, the stats are not a surprise as he honed his batting skills this offseason.

“All the offseason stuff I’ve been doing has been to get stronger, hit the ball a little harder, and focus on certain pitches and certain counts to drive the ball more. This league is a pitcher’s league so you have to be more selective.,'' says Trejo. “But no, this is not a surprise to me. The people that know how hard I work know this is not a surprise.”

The Eastern league, which the Yard Goats play in, is known for being a difficult hitting environment so it speaks to Trejo’s development even more.

Even though Downey is 2,890 miles from Hartford, CT he does not forget where he came from and credits his hometown for playing a part in where he is today. Skepticism of Trejo’s abilities started even before the MLB draft.

“My community pushed me. A lot of people in my community felt that I was never good enough. I never got the respect I should have gotten,” Trejo said. “Because of that it has always been a grind for me wherever I was. They’ve pushed me more than anything and it has a positive impact on me believe it or not. A lot of things that happened in my childhood was negative but it is what it is. I’ve grown from it and learned from it.”

Trejo’s production on the team has given him more of a leadership role. In such an individual sport he takes pride in leading by example.

“I try to come to the field everyday with the same expectations to win games and not be selfish,'' he mentions. “A lot of the time we get caught up in trying to get our hits or playing defense. We get caught up in ourselves instead of our team. Growing up watching guys like Derek Jeter and A-Rod (Alex Rodgriguez), you see their leadership skills and how their teammates talk about them it makes you want to be like them.”

Trejo is not one of the Rockies’ highly coveted prospects, just yet. But he has great feel for the infield at shortstop.

Couple that with his leadership and his progression at the plate, Downey might be able to claim one of their own as future player in the MLB.

Sports, NewsGerald Nelson