The Baltimore Orioles finished the season with a 75-87 record, but not every player had a “losing” season.
Trey Mancini, the Baltimore Orioles jack-of-all-trades rookie, was one of those players who contributed to more wins than losses.
His rookie season was extremely impressive. Had Mancini not been a rookie at the same time as Aaron Judge, he would be in the national conversation for rookie of the year.
Mancini had a rough start, but once April was over, he was relentless at the plate. At the end of April, his slash was .216/.245/.549/.794 and he had five home runs. He never looked back. Take a look at his other monthly slash lines:
- May: .342/.398/.479/.877 with two home runs
- June: .340/.383/.630/1.013 with seven home runs
- July: .265/.314/.418/.733 with three home runs
- August: .269/.328/.491/.818 with six home runs
- September: .301/.328/.398/.726 with one home run
By the time the season was over, his final slash was .293/.338/.488/.826 with 24 home runs, 78 RBIs, and 26 doubles. When comparing him to the rest of his team, Mancini’s batting numbers were second only to Tim Beckham. Surprisingly, Mancini’s slash was almost identical to Jonathan Schoop‘s All-Star season: .293/.338/.503/.841. Schoop and Mancini finished the season with the same batting average and on-base percentage.
Not too bad for a 25-year-old kid in his first full season in the Majors. Mancini was one of the most consistent players on the team.
He had a handful of games with two home runs. Two were in April, against the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays. One in June against the Pittsburgh Pirates when he earned five RBIs with those two home runs. He also had two home runs on August 10 against the Oakland A’s. Impressive.
When comparing Mancini to other 2018 rookies, he appears in the top 10 in several categories. His batting average was the fifth highest and so was his total number of RBIs. In total home runs, he finished tied for fifth with Ian Happ and Matt Olson. He hit the third most doubles. Mancini did lead the rookie class with the most hits out of both NL and AL players. He put the ball in play 159 times. Considering he played in 149 games, that is an impressive statistic.
"According to Brittany Ghiroli with MLB.com, “With 159 hits on the season, Mancini moved him ahead of Cal Ripken Jr. for sole possession of second-place on the Orioles’ all-time rookie hits list.”"
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His season was more than respectable, especially in a season loaded with outstanding position-player rookies. Judge might be the rookie with all of the attention, but other names in this rookie class include Cody Bellinger, Yuri Gurriel, and Andrew Benintendi. Mancini was competitive with every single one of these young players all season long.
Mancini proved that he is an asset on offense. The guy can hit. Pure and simple.
But, he also can play defense. He manned first base when Chris Davis could not. Then, he was moved out to left field, where he made some impressive plays. He also stood in as the DH in a handful of games. His final WAR for the season was 1.9, but he did record a negative dWAR. His rookie status was more evident when he was on defense, but that not unusual. He recorded six errors on the season and did his best work at first base.
As Mancini gets more at-bats under his belt and more time out in the field, he should only get better. It is safe to say that Mancini was a fan favorite for the 2017 season. Hopefully, 2018 will just as good, if not better.