Baltimore Orioles: Breaking Down Trey Mancini’s Hot Start
As the Orioles pass the quarter mark of the regular season, Trey Mancini’s return to baseball has been special. What factors have made him so successful at the plate?
Coming off a season in 2019 where he batted .291 with 35 home runs in 154 games, Trey Mancini seemed destined to continue his elite play for the Baltimore Orioles during the 2020 season. However, a diagnosis of colon cancer between March and April of 2020 forced Mancini to miss what ended up being a 60-game season a year ago. Since then, Mancini has recovered and made a triumphant return, piecing together a very strong case for Comeback Player of the Year early on this season.
Up to this point, Mancini is Major League Baseball’s RBIs leader, having raked in 41 runs over his first 46 games. According to the Stathead span finder, this run by Mancini is just the ninth since the team’s move to Baltimore in 1954 in which an Orioles hitter recorded more than 40 RBIs within his first 46 games of a season. His superb ability to hang numbers on the scoreboard this season has also come with a 141 wRC+, which ranks within the top 20 hitters in the American League.
Behind Mancini’s success at the plate has been his ability to make solid contact on a consistent basis and limit swing-and-miss in his approach. Mancini has barreled up 19 of his 135 batted balls entering Monday night’s series opener against the Minnesota Twins, good for a career-high 14.1% barrel rate. Alongside it, Mancini is striking out at a career-low 20.9% clip. When he gets a pitch to hit, Mancini has seemed to almost always make hard contact, ranking within the top 50 hitters in MLB in average exit velocity.
With the MLB All-Star Game about six weeks away, Trey Mancini is in a prime position to make the American League roster. While the 2019 roster didn’t include him, which has been a popular conversation for the biggest All-Star snub ever since, this season may be different. Mancini’s story has been one of the most inspiring in professional sports and watching him return to being one of the best hitters in baseball only makes it sweeter.