Shorebird of the Week – May 29, 2014

I’m sure Shorebird fans are pleased that my prediction that Trey Mancini would skip a level and advance to Frederick coming off a season where he was named the Topps NY-Penn League Player of the Year did not come to pass. Instead, Mancini is hitting a cool .310/0/23/.736 OPS for Delmarva.

Now those stats don’t match the .328/3/35/.832 OPS he had for Aberdeen in his first taste of professional ball out of Notre Dame, but after a homestand where Trey went 13-for-32 (.406) with three doubles and six knocked in, Mancini may be on his way to matching those numbers. But a lot was expected from the eighth-round Oriole pick last year, and since he just turned 22 during spring training Trey is on a good track. Mancini is also something of an oddity, a warm-weather product (Florida native) who went north to play his collegiate ball.

Going forward, though, Mancini may need to develop a little versatility seeing that he’s a couple levels behind another hard-hitting Oriole first baseman prospect in Christian Walker, not to mention Chris Davis holding down the fort in Baltimore. At the very worst he may need to see a little time in left field, where his arm strength (or lack thereof, being a regular first baseman) wouldn’t be a liability.

It usually takes a season or two of professional ball for power hitters to find their way, and Trey reportedly is a highlight reel buring batting practice. (I also found where he won the Big East Conference home run derby in 2012.) So the lack of home runs may be the outlier among his stats, and once that power comes to the fore Mancini will make for a formidable presence in the Shorebird lineup.