We’re reviewing all 316 players to appear with the Astros at any level in 2022.
Trey Mancini is a six-foot-three, 230 lb. right-handed outfielder and first baseman from Winter Haven, FL. Born on March 18, 1992, he was initially an eighth-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in the 2013 draft out of Notre Dame. Of the 10 eventual major leaguers to get drafted with the 249th overall choice, Mancini ranks second with 9.4 bWAR. Brandon Webb (31.1) leads the group.
After rising through the Orioles minors, Mancini made his major league debut in 2016. From his debut through the end of his time with Baltimore, he appeared in 752 games for the Orioles, slashing .270/.334/.463 with 117 home runs and 350 RBI.
At the 2022 trade deadline, the Astros acquired Mancini as part of a three-team trade. According to baseball-reference:
(Mancini was) traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Baltimore Orioles to the Houston Astros. The Houston Astros sent Chayce McDermott (minors) to the Baltimore Orioles. The Houston Astros sent Jose Siri to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Tampa Bay Rays sent Jayden Murray (minors) to the Houston Astros. The Tampa Bay Rays sent Seth Johnson (minors) to the Baltimore Orioles.
Soon after his acquisition, on August 5, Mancini put up his second-best WPA of the season, and best with Houston, going deep twice and knocking five in as the Astros topped the Cleveland Guardians, 9-3. On August 25, he smacked a three-run shot into orbit in a 6-3 Houston win over the Minnesota Twins.
Unfortunately for Mancini, it wasn’t all just puppies and rainbows after joining the Astros. In 51 games after the trade, he slashed .176/.258/.364, but he did drill eight homers with 22 RBI. His final 14 games of the regular season would see him go four-for-45.
Once the postseason came around, Mancini continued to struggle at the plate, going one-for-21 in eight playoff appearances. His lone safe base hit came in Houston’s championship-clinching Game Six 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, in the form of a third-inning leadoff single. Of course, not all contributions in baseball come in the form of plate theatrics:
Mancini’s eighth-inning stab kept the World Series from swinging in favor of the Phillies. If he hadn’t made that play, it’s a tie score with a man on third. The play was worth .140 WPA. I know that defensive WPA is credited to the pitcher as it were, but Ryan Pressly had nothing to do with Mancini’s play here. The Phillies score here, then maybe they win and go up three-games-to-two. Who knows what happens in that timeline....
...but that ball didn’t get through, the Phillies didn’t score there, the Astros didn’t lose that game, then went on to win the next as well. Mancini’s contribution to Houston’s World Series Title was very important when it all comes down to it.
Mancini is currently a free agent, and I can’t help feeling that his bat going cold for the Astros post-trade will hurt his stock in a big way. That’s a shame because I don’t think he was as bad as he seemed at the time. His slump is going to cost him millions of dollars. (h/t to Clack). Thanks for reading.