The Houston Astros added slugger Trey Mancini just before the Aug. 2 trade deadline in a swap with the Baltimore Orioles. Mancini has had a fiery start to his Houston career, to say the least, and is a reminder of what he can mean for the Astros down the stretch.
In his second game since the trade, he pitched against the Red Sox and then went deep twice in a 9-3 win over the Guardians on Friday night in Cleveland. His first homer of the night helped him make some history:
And his second homer of the night was the first grand slam of his MLB career:
As of this writing, Mancini has three hits as an Astro, and all three of those hits are home runs. After Friday night’s big performance, he’s now slashing .268/.345/.425 on the season. No, Mancini won’t continue to hit three home runs every eight at-bats for Houston, but he will be a source of steady power down the stretch and into the postseason. This is first and foremost because he is a very good hitter and also because he will fit in better in his new home ballpark.
You may recall that the Orioles adjusted the left-field dimensions at Camden Yards earlier in the season. The new left-field wall is estimated by the Baltimore Sun to be approximately 30 feet longer from home plate, as well as five feet higher. While Mancini had power in all areas, he was hurt by those changes in Baltimore. Now he’s in Houston, which has perhaps the most comfortable left-field porch in all of MLB. Perhaps not coincidentally, Mancini has shown a more pull-heavy approach to trading. Yes, the data sample is ridiculously small, but it remains to be seen if that trend continues.
We know Mancini has a lot of power. He has a 35-homer season and after missing all of 2020 he hit 21 in his first season last year after winning a battle with colon cancer. Now that he’s in a home ballpark that doesn’t actively work against him — and will likely help him significantly — you’ll probably get peak Mancini back.