By Alex Littlehales
Coming in at No. 8 on Baseball America's list of the Baltimore Orioles' top 10 prospects is right-handed first baseman Trey Mancini. The slugger from Winter Haven, Fla., helped the Double-A Bowie Baysox capture the Eastern League Championship in 2015. Here are five things to know about the 23-year-old Mancini:
1. He Has Natural Talent
Since his freshman year at Notre Dame in 2011, Mancini has been exceptional, displaying strengths at the plate and on the field. Mancini hit .323 with a.577 slugging percentage during his freshman year and ended up leading the Fighting Irish in 12 statistical categories. He also solidified the first baseman position during his two years at the South Bend, Ind., school. His impressive college career led the Orioles to selecting Mancini in the eighth round of the 2013 draft.
2. He Is An Offensive Juggernaut
Not only is Mancini powerful, but he's an extremely efficient hitter. During Mancini's three-year minor league career, he's batting .315 with 34 home runs and 207 RBIs. In 2015, he had his best season to date with the Baysox, batting .359 with a .586 slugging percentage (both team highs). Mancini accrued 117 hits for the Baysox in just 84 games, tied for second on the team with outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, who needed 44 more games than Mancini to accomplish the feat. Mancini has used his swing to separate himself from the pack, and he could climb even higher in the O's system if can build off his strong 2015 campaign.
3. He Plays His Best When It Matters Most
During the Baysox's Eastern League championship run, Mancini was at his best when Bowie needed him to come up with a big hit or make a key play in the field. When he trailed in the count at the plate, Mancini still managed to hit .333 with four home runs. In addition, with runners in scoring position, he hit .385 with 39 RBIs. Mancini demonstrated his ability to hit in the clutch, as well as his maturity and poise to wait for his pitch.
4. His Fielding Is Getting Better
Mancini was seen as a defensive stalwart at first base during his time at Notre Dame. After entering the O's system in 2013, he has continued improving his defense, and it's paid dividends. Mancini committed six errors in 61 games during his first year with the Aberdeen Ironbirds in 2013. Last season, he totaled only five errors during a 126-game stretch with the Single-A Frederick Keys and Baysox. His ability to command the field with his glove, coupled with his hitting prowess, shows how much of a complete player Mancini could end up being for the O's in the future.
5. He Has Major League Size
At 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Mancini has the size to not only hold his own in the majors, but dominate as well. With more mass comes a natural ability to generate more energy and power, making it easier to drive the ball out of the ballpark. It's no wonder Mancini's swing comes so naturally to him.