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Orioles' Trey Mancini: From Roster Hopeful To Rookie Of The Year Finalist

November 8, 2017
Trey Mancini's outstanding rookie season was officially recognized when the Baltimore Orioles left fielder was named one of the finalists for the American League Rookie of the Year Award.
 
Mancini joins New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge and Boston Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi as finalists for the award, which will be announced Nov. 13.
 
If not for Judge, who is also a finalist for the MVP award, Mancini would be a strong contender for Rookie of the Year.
 
Mancini played in 147 games -- tied with centerfielder Adam Jones for third-most behind Schoop (160) and Manny Machado (156). His .293 batting average was tied with Schoop for best on the club, and he had 24 home runs and 78 RBIs.
 
Mancini's 159 hits were the second-most all-time among Orioles rookies, trailing only Eddie Murray's 173 in 1977, and he had a 17-game hitting streak in September, longest by an Orioles rookie in team history. 
 
He actually had more hits than either Judge (154) or Benintendi (155), but the Yankees slugger led the majors with 127 walks. Going forward, Mancini will need to be more selective at the plate, as he struck out more than four times more often than he walked (139 to 33).

As spring training began, it wasn't a certainty Mancini would even make the Orioles, especially when the team signed outfielders Michael Bourn and Craig Gentry. Bourn suffered a broken finger early on and never played for the team this season, but designated hitter Pedro Alvarez was signed and tried in the outfield.

In mid-March, manager Buck Showalter decided to give Mancini, who'd played first base throughout his professional career, a look in the outfield. 
 
Mancini made the team, and while he didn't play every day in the beginning, he hit well and played creditably in the outfield.
 
Following up on his fast start at the end of 2016 when he hit three homers in his first five games, Mancini hit two homers in a game April 12 and April 16.
 
Though he hit only .216 in April, Mancini hit at least .265 in every other month.
 
Mancini ended up playing 90 games in the outfield, and when Chris Davis went on the disabled list in mid-June, he shifted back to first base.
 
From June 3 to the end of the season, Mancini missed only one game.
 
Showalter admitted he had underestimated Mancini's ability to play the outfield. A year earlier when Mancini and Christian Walker were both in spring training, Showalter tried the more-experienced Walker in the outfield because he felt Mancini's arm wasn't strong enough.
 
It turned out that Mancini's arm is strong, and though his defense is a work in progress, Showalter was impressed by his work ethic and the vast improvement he showed.

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox