Alan Trejo has been a treat for SDSU baseball

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Alan Trejo has been a treat for SDSU baseball

by Mayer Pohlod, Staff Writer

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At this point in the season, it’s not a shocker that San Diego State baseball is fielding a young team. In the team’s last three-game series against UNLV, seven of the nine starters in the lineup were sophomores or younger.

With the abundance of youth, the younger players are being leaned on heavily to keep competitive with the rest of the Mountain West.

One player in particular has made that initial step: sophomore shortstop Alan Trejo.

Trejo has become an offensive force for SDSU, leading the team with a .347 average following last weekend’s series win over UNLV and occupying the No. 3 spot in the lineup.

But baseball was not always the focus for the 6-foot-2 shortstop and reliever.

“When I was younger, I was definitely not a baseball player. I grew up playing basketball for the majority of my life,” Trejo said.

Trejo’s dad, Ray, was a high school basketball coach, and Trejo would routinely be at practices with him.

“I remember he was something like 3 years old, and he would already be making baskets,” Ray Trejo said. “I’d never seen a kid that young already be putting the ball through the hoop.”

Trejo’s main sport would quickly shift to baseball after he saw longtime New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter play on TV when he was 4 years old.

“He inspired me to play baseball and it went from there,” Trejo said.

Ray Trejo added: “We were traveling from Nevada, Arizona, etc. (for travel ball) and it was getting to be a bit much, and I sat down with him and told him he had to make a decision. He went into his room, and not long after came out and said, ‘Dad, I think I want to pursue baseball.’”

Trejo proved quickly he made the right choice.

He played all four years at the varsity level at Warren High in Downey, California. As an upperclassman, he showcased his ability as a two-way player.

Trejo hit .577 and .453 in his junior and senior years, respectively, and compiled a perfect 17-0 record on the mound.

His productivity attracted the attention of then-SDSU pitching coach Eric Valenzuela, who recruited Trejo away from other potential suitors, including University of Arizona, University of Washington, Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge, when he was just a sophomore.

“He told me, ‘Dad, they just seem like humble and good people,’” Ray Trejo said of his son’s early take on SDSU.

Three years later Trejo officially arrived on the Mesa, and in his first two seasons with the Aztecs, he’s done nothing but impress.

“He competes, he battles, he’s a very tough kid,” head coach Mark Martinez said. “He’s a doer, he’s a leader and he’s a joy to coach. He makes our job very easy.”

Even though he did dominate the mound during high school, Trejo has been mostly relegated to the infield as an Aztec with a few relief appearances here and there.

In his freshman year, he started 49 of 64 contests at second base, his first time playing the position. He hit .266 with 20 RBIs, but was asked to switch to a much more familiar position in shortstop for his sophomore campaign.

“It doesn’t matter where I play, I just want to play,” Trejo said. “Shortstop is a captain and I take pride in that.”

Martinez sees the pride Trejo takes in his position, as well.

“He’s a vicious worker. … I think he really enjoys playing shortstop, being a leader and being that guy that’s in the middle of the field and runs everything,” Martinez said.

Trejo attributes his success offensively and defensively so far this year in part to his relationship with Martinez.

“He’s like my dad on the field,” he said of Martinez, chuckling. “He yells at me, he screams at me but he does it for a good reason, and I appreciate it.”

What might be the most exciting part about Trejo is that he still has potentially two more years with the team.

That means two more possible years of development, maturity and contribution from someone who’s already an integral part of the program.

“What I can tell you is that he’s a hard worker. He’s going to put in 100 percent every time,” Ray Trejo said. “I was lucky to have a kid like him.”

Martinez had some similar comments regarding Trejo’s future with the Aztecs.

“It’s going to be fun to coach him through his career here, he’s fun to have now. He’s one of our main family members.” Martinez said.

In addition to routinely tearing up the baseball diamond, Trejo is currently majoring in aerospace engineering, a career in which he plans to pursue in addition to pro baseball after college.

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