After successfully skipping a level last year and starting well this season at Double-A Hartford, it’s fair to wonder why shortstop Alan Trejo lingered in the 2017 draft and wasn’t taken until the 16th round out of San Diego State.
“He didn’t come here as a hitter,” farm director Zach Wilson said. “And I think that’s probably what held him back from being a higher pick.”
Trejo hit .278/.329/.425 last season at high Class A Lancaster with 10 home runs in 114 games. Through 19 games this season, the 23-year-old hit .333/.357/.545 with two homers in the Eastern League.
“He’s a major league player defensively all the way,” Wilson said. “Now offensively I think getting into professional baseball has really helped him take pretty strong leaps forward.”
Wilson said Trejo, who has always been a middle-of-the-field hitter, has a better understanding where his hit zone is and he attacks pitches there and has not missed them. “He just really has a feel for, ‘These are the pitches I can handle.’ And he’s handling them.”
As they frequently do with infield prospects, the Rockies have introduced Trejo to second base and third base. Trejo has a solid-average, accurate arm and quick hands. He has keen instincts for the game, natural leadership skills and fluid, easy actions to the ball.
“I like him a lot because he brings skills to the table,” Wilson said, “but he also has an aptitude and a desire to be really good that I think is going to turn him into a good enough hitter to be a major leaguer.
“He’s not going to be a force in a lineup. But he’s going to be a guy who can play shortstop potentially every day and get his share of knocks, get his share of RBIs and take his walks and set up the guys around him while all at the same time having the leadership skills to make our people better.”
— Max George, who went to high school in the Denver area and was drafted in the sixth round in 2014, is converting from second base to catcher and working on the position switch in extended spring training. The Rockies feel George, 22, lacks the range to play on the left side of the infield or the plus offensive skills to play just second base. But his good hands, instincts for the game, occasional power, energy and makeup make him a good fit for catcher.
George, who is catching in extended spring games, has embraced the position change and has shown excellent blocking skills. He hit .209/.344/.421 last year at Lancaster with 14 homers in 98 games.
— The Rockies hope right fielder Niko Decolati is ready to play for low Class A Asheville about mid-May. He suffered a broken right wrist during the final week of spring training when he landed on the wrist after colliding with the first baseman in a game. Decolati is wearing a splint on his wrist and did not require surgery. After being drafted in the sixth round last year out of Loyola Marymount, Decolati hit .327/.414/.532 in 69 games at Rookie-level Grand Junction with 11 homers and 17 stolen bases.