Let us take a look at another future old-timer. Joseph Anthony “Trey” Mancini has completed just one full season in the major leagues and he has already acquired a nickname. The 25-year-old outfielder is called “Ice Trey” because of his already established late game heroics, as in “ice water in his veins.” Mancini was born in Winter Haven, Florida, on March 18, 1992, where he attended Winter Haven High School and then played college ball for the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
Trey spent two summers playing collegiate summer baseball and the Baltimore Orioles selected the right handed first baseman/outfielder in the eighth round of the 2013 draft. The 6’4,” 215 pound athlete made his professional debut with the Aberdeen Ironbirds, where he played 68 games and hit .328 with 3 home runs and 35 RBIs. He began the 2014 season in the Class A South Atlantic League and after 68 games was promoted to the Class A-Advanced Carolina League and then went to Bowie Baysox in the Class AA Eastern League. His .359 batting average in 84 games, with 13 homers and 57 RBI’s made a clear case for Mancini’s prospects as a future major leaguer.
He spent most of 2016 in AAA ball with Norfolk of the International League and his inevitable elevation to the top of the chain came on September 18, 2016. The young Italian American from Florida had made the major leagues and in the mere five games he played with the Orioles, he had heads turning. In his first major league game on September 20, he appeared as a designated hitter against Eduardo Rodriguez of the Boston Red Sox. In his second at-bat, Trey Mancini drove one out of the park.
Two nights later he was again in the starting lineup and belted a three-run home run for his second big league round tripper in as many games. After hitting a solo four bagger on September 24, Trey became only the third player in Major League history to homer in his first three starts. In his five big league games, Mancini hit .357 with 3 home runs and 5 RBI’s in fourteen plate appearances. All indications were that Trey Mancini could only look upward and outward.
In 2017, Mancini found himself in an Orioles uniform on opening day. He wasted no time getting acclimated. In the first game of the season, he pinch-hit in the tenth inning and collected his first hit of the season. In an April 12 game against Boston at Fenway Park, Mancini went 2-for-3 with a walk and two home runs. On the 16th of that month, the slugging outfielder had his second multi-homer game. His seven homers during his first 12 games tied a record set by Trevor Story and Dino Restelli.
Grabbing hold of his new nickname, “Ice Trey”, Mancini hit a game-tying, pinch-hit two run home run in the ninth inning. Two innings later, he closed it out with a walk-off three run game winner with two outs, giving Baltimore a 9-6 victory. It was only the third time in Orioles’ history that a player hit a game tying home run in the ninth and then hit another homer in extra innings in the same game. Mancini was in esteemed company. The other two were Boog Powell (’66) and Eddie Murray (’80). Trey’s June 25th homer was his 14th of the year and gave Mancini the most home runs by an Orioles rookie before the All-Star break.
There have been so many young ballplayers over the decades who have showed great promise only to fall by the wayside as the pressures of life at the top were too much to sustain. Trey Mancini’s first season in the major leagues has every indication of being a harbinger of things to come. This may be one youngster who avoids the pratfalls of his profession. It may be that one day – say a dozen, or so years from now – they may be writing about Mancini’s storied career and successes. Fans of the Italian Tribune can say they read about it all here first.