Batting Stance Change, Big League Spring Training, a Chat With Trey Mancini

Welcome to the Grand Opening of Baby Birdland! I have built this site with the goal to be your one-stop shop for all your Baltimore Orioles minor league news, notes and analysis and today we kick off the site with a recent interview I did with top-5 prospect, Trey Mancini.




Mancini, 24, was drafted by the O's in the eighth round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of Notre Dame and has done exactly what he did in the college ranks, hit.

His performance at the plate since being drafted is right there among the best in the Orioles' organization, and his 2015 campaign even earned him the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year honor.

Recently, I was able to chat with Mancini, and we touched on a number of topics, so without further delay, let's get to the interview shall we?

Baby Birdland: How was the experience of big league spring training this year? And what did you take from it to help you with your game?

Major League Spring training was an incredible experience this year. It was just cool to be around the team and to see how they all go about their business day in and day out. It's impressive to be around. As a baseball player, I have always known the importance of having a routine every day- but after seeing all the guys go about their business every day and their commitment to perfection, it even further solidified that belief.


Baby Birdland: Can you describe the feeling you had when you were announced the 2015 Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year last season?


It was such an honor to receive the Brooks Robinson Award last year. To receive any type of award with Mr. Robinson's name on it is almost surreal. The first month or so of the 2015 season I had some early struggles, and luckily was able to turn it around and put together a good year. I had so many great coaches and coordinators who have helped develop my game as well, so a lot of credit goes to them.


Baby Birdland: You are experiencing AAA for the first time this season, and on paper, it has not seemed to affect you at all at the plate. What kind of adjustments, if any, did you have to make at the plate?


AAA is definitely a step up from AA, and it took me quite a while to settle in and feel really comfortable at the plate for an extended amount of time. The pitchers are much more experienced here and know exactly what their plan is, and you have to make a plan of your own and stick to it. I think something else that has helped me is I've been more relaxed and not thinking as much while I'm up at the plate, which always helps as a hitter.

Baby Birdland: For the second straight season, we are seeing you put up very good power numbers, more specifically the long ball. You always exhibited extra-base hit power, but what has been the difference in seeing the ball leave the yard more frequently over the past two seasons?


Last year at spring training, Brady Anderson worked with me and we changed my stance in a pretty major way. I used to be lower and spread out, and now I stand up tall and kind of "hang" on my back leg while the pitcher is winding up. It's helped me get more weight and force into the ball when I hit it, which is where I think the power increase has come into play.


Baby Birdland: Prior to last season, not many Orioles' fans really knew your name, or how good of a hitter you were, have you noticed a difference from O's fans over the past year and a half?


I think last year definitely helped get my name out there, especially to some Orioles fans who might not be as familiar with some of the minor league guys. There are so many players in the farm system, and obviously the major league team gets so much attention (and rightfully so), that I wouldn't have really expected too many people to know who I was. Part of the reason we all play is to make a name for ourselves, and to do that even just within the organization and Orioles fans is a really rewarding feeling.


Baby Birdland: You have now experienced all five of the O's major affiliates, do you have a favorite town to live in of the five?


This is a really hard question for me, because every place has been great. I will always cherish my time in Frederick and Bowie because I had family in both those cities who I lived with, which was really neat. Aberdeen was another awesome experience, and the crowds there are second to none. With all that said, Norfolk has the most to do out of the five cities though so I'm actually going to go with that for my answer to the question. I've really enjoyed my time here so far.


Baby Birdland: Last one for you, and we always like to end on a non-baseball question. Who is your favorite NFL team and who do you think wins this year's Super Bowl?


My favorite football team is unfortunately the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We haven't been great as of late but I'm hoping the future is bright there with some of the young talent they have. As far as the Super Bowl goes, I'm going to go with Green Bay. I think they're going to have a big bounce back year and win it all. Also, for the college football fans, watch out for the Fighting Irish in 2016. I'm calling a 12-0 regular season.
I would like to once again thank Trey for taking the time to chat with me, and I personally feel that it's a matter of when, and not if he gets the call to Baltimore this season.


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Comments

  1. Anyone else think Mancini gets the call to Charm City this season?

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