One of the big questions for the Orioles minor leagues early in the season was this: Why the heck is Trey Mancini still in Bowie? That question may never be answered, but at least no one will have to ask it any more. Mancini is being promoted from Double-A to Triple-A, according to MASN's Steve Melewski. It's about time.
It was puzzling enough that Mancini opened up the season at Bowie after destroying that league for half of last season. Over 84 games for Bowie last year, he batted .359/.395/.586 - and that was after tearing up High-A Frederick so much that he forced a promotion to Bowie. Mancini has picked up where he left off this year, batting .302/.413/.698 over 17 games with Bowie, including seven home runs. Now he'll get his chance in Norfolk at last.
Mancini will be effectively switching places with the previous Norfolk first baseman, Joey Terdoslavich, who's gone from a 40-man roster spot to being outrighted to being kicked down to Bowie. Terdoslavich was batting .140/.286/.140 through his 17 games with Norfolk.
You've probably noticed that the O's are quite set at first base for a while at the MLB level, and Mancini is pretty much limited to first base or designated hitter. DH at the big league level is a mess right now. If Mancini keeps raking, they'll have to find a place for him, if not by the end of this season, then surely somewhere on the team next season.
In some ways, the O's are playing with house money with Mancini. He was an eighth round pick in the 2013 draft who pretty much came out of nowhere to turn himself into a prospect last season. The year before he broke out, he posted a .779 OPS for Delmarva and a .691 OPS for Frederick.
Most of the time, an eighth round pick is never going to turn into anybody at all. If Mancini doesn't end up being a big leaguer, no one will ever ask, "Geez, how did the Orioles screw up that guy?" They also won't be asking why a high draft pick was spent on THIS guy.
At 24, Mancini isn't a spring chicken in prospect terms any more. He's probably very close to whatever his ceiling might be. Maybe he won't be able to keep up that level of performance at Triple-A - but if he does, the O's have found something from nothing. Take every little victory where you can get it.