As the Baltimore Orioles remain in the middle of the American League Wild Card standings, rookie Trey Mancini has evolved into the cornerstone piece of the Orioles lineup.
The Baltimore Orioles’ Trey Mancini hit his 19th and 20th home run on Thursday night, helping to lead the Orioles to victory in game one versus the Oakland Athletics.
I wanted to look at Baltimore Orioles rookie Trey Mancini next to another player.
So, let’s take a look.
Player A: .296/.344/.530 with 20 HR, 19 2B, 2 3B, 60 RBIs, 46 R, 23 BB, 95 SO in 100 games
Player B: .294/.422/.616 with 35 HR, 14 2B, 3 3B, 78 RBIs, 86 runs, 83 BB, 149 SO in 109 games (x)
After All Star Game
Player A: .253/.317/.505 with 6 HR, 4 2B, 1 3B, 16 RBIs, 15 R, 7 BB, 21 Ks in 26 games
Player B: .172/.336/.356 with 5 HRs, 1 2B, 0 3B, 12 RBIs, 11 R, 22 BB, 40 Ks in 25 games
x – leads league in walks, HRs, runs and slugging percentage
Player A is Mancini. Player B, of course, is New York Yankees star Aaron Judge.
Look, Judge had a phenomenal first half of the season, and I’m not discounting that. And, he likely will be AL Rookie of the Year, possibly unanimously.
But, baseball is a game of adjustments. Many players have played in the big leagues and been excellent for a period of time.
It happens a lot with pitchers. Remember Mike Wright‘s first two starts?
Judge is a big guy at 6-foot-7, 282 pounds.
That also means he has a huge strike zone. And, when you are facing the best pitching in the world, those guys are going to expose those holes.
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Judge has struck out in just under 30 games in a row. His strikeouts are tied for second in the American League with Khris Davis. Not the Orioles’ Chris Davis, because of his injury, but the one the Orioles are currently facing. Miguel Sano leads in that category.
Mancini is likely to be a better contact hitter over his career. Even as he faces pitchers who are adjusting, he is still hitting above .250 in the second half.
Defensively, Judge is far superior by the sabermetrics. Now, you also have to account for the fact that Mancini has played almost as many games in the infield at first base as he has in the outfield.
Mancini has not rated that well at first base, but much like Davis, has looked pretty good at the position.
His outfield play has certainly improved as the season has gone out, a notable feat for someone who never played the position before spring training.
In Mancini, the Orioles have a player, that by all reports, is always working to improve his game. Which is important in the game of baseball, because if you aren’t improving, you are falling behind.
Mancini isn’t garnering the national attention that Judge is, and the attention Judge is gathering is deserved. However, the second half has been very tough for the Yankees’ prodigious star.
Mancini, meanwhile, is the first Oriole to hit 20 home runs in his rookie season since a young kid by the name of Cal Ripken Jr. That worked out pretty well for the team.
As the Orioles move forward, the makeup of their team may change. One can envision a team in 2020 that doesn’t have Mark Trumbo anymore, and probably not Manny Machado either. A team that, using guys like Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays, will not only feature power but also speed.
Mancini would be a cornerstone of that lineup.
But enough about the future. With the current struggles of Trumbo and Davis, rookie Mancini is the cornerstone of the Orioles’ lineup now.
A lineup that is trying to push for a playoff spot, led by a rookie.
Just like what is happening in the Bronx.