Baltimore Orioles and an analysis of Trey Mancini at the plate

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 24: Trey Mancini
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 24: Trey Mancini /

Trey Mancini has been a good story for the Baltimore Orioles in 2017, and one could argue he deserved to be at the All-Star Game.

Trey Mancini as been a good story for the Baltimore Orioles in 2017, and one could argue he deserved to be at the All-Star Game. However, is it possible that the injury to Chris Davis is exposing the holes in Mancini’s game?

At the beginning of Spring Training, prevailing thought was that with Seth Smith, Hyun Soo Kim, Craig Gentry, Mark Trumbo, Michael Bourn and of course Chris Davis at first base, Mancini was ticketed for the minor leagues for more seasoning.

But, Mancini had a very good spring, and forced himself on to the Baltimore Orioles’ Opening Day roster. Then, the right-handed hitter began to force himself in to the starting lineup when the team faced left-handing pitching, supplanting Hyun Soo Kim in many cases.

Mancini just continued to hit, and pushed his way into getting starts against right-handers as well.

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Just before Chris Davis suffered his oblique injury, Mancini was playing in virtually every game. However, with Davis injured and Mancini as the best defensive option at first base, Mancini has now played in every game since June 3, which goes back a week and a half before the Davis’ injury.

When Mancini started his current stretch of playing 27 games in a row, he was hitting .295/.340/.515. Seven of his 14 home runs this season have come during this stretch.

His batting average peaked at .323 on June 28 after a 2-4 game against the Blue Jays and Marcus Stroman, although the two times he got out were on strikeouts.

Mancini in his last four games is 0-14 with 6 Ks, 2 BB. Over the last week he is 3-22 with two walks and nine strikeouts. So, it is safe to say that Mancini is slumping a little bit. But, this isn’t an extended slump like the team has seen from Manny Machado this year.

At this point, the slump is a brief one, offset by a guy who is still hitting over .300 even with the recent down stretch.

Another interest fact in examining his numbers is that Mancini is a reverse splits hitter. Mancini is hitting .324/.378/.595 with 10 HRs, 31 RBIs, 8 2Bs and 20 runs scored against right-handers. Against left-handers, Mancini is hitting .265/.299/.458 with 4 HRs, 12 RBIs, 4 2Bs and 8 runs scored.

So, there is certainly no reason to only start him against lefties, since he is excelling against right handed pitching.

Mancini has been an equal opportunity hitter when it comes to playing home or away from the friendly confines of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. He is hitting .304/.350/.557 with 7 HRs, 21 RBIs, 6 2Bs and 16 runs at home. He is hitting .302/.352/.534 with 7 HRs, 22 RBIs, 6 2Bs and 12 runs on the road.

As far as batting order, since Davis has gotten hurt, Mancini has frequently hit sixth in the order, behind Seth Smith/Joey Rickard, Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo. Well, Mancini has started 28 games batting sixth in the order, and is hitting .245/.304/.425.

In his career, he is hitting .500/.500/1.250 from the first spot in the order with two home runs, five RBIs and two runs in only eight at-bats. He has batted second eight times, never getting a hit. He has batted fourth twice, also never getting a hit.

He has started 11 games batting fifth in the order, hitting to a .381/.409/.643 clip in 42 at-bats. When he bats seventh, he is hitting .377/.443/.755 in 53 at-bats. When he bats eighth, he is 4-10 and when he bats ninth he is 0-2.

So, if Buck wants to jump start his young first baseman a bit, maybe he should move him out of the sixth spot in the order. As for right now, I don’t think there is any reason to panic. It is not like his strikeouts have dramatically increased over the recent slump he is in.

Next: Jonathan Schoop Selected to 2017 MLB All-Star Game

Even the best players in baseball go through a stretch where things aren’t clicking, and the Orioles hope this is just a blip in the continued development of Trey Mancini.