He was at his best in 2019, right in his prime (27 years old), when he batted .291 with 35 home runs and 97 RBI.
However, the unexpected happened in 2020.
Right in the start of the pandemic, in early March, Mancini was forced to leave the Orioles during spring training to undergo what was called a “non-baseball medical procedure.”
A few days later, on March 12, it was revealed that the procedure was the removal of a malignant tumor from his colon.
A month later, on April 28, the Orioles slugger revealed to the public that he had stage 3 colon cancer and would begin chemotherapy ongoing for six months to treat the disease.
He missed the entire 2020 MLB season.
The good news started coming in November.
That month, the player himself announced he was cancer-free and he intended to play the 2021 campaign with the Orioles.
A Story Of Resilience And Determination
Upon returning to active duty in the 2021, he was given a standing ovation by the Orioles crowd prior before his first at-bat of the season in Baltimore.
Trey Mancini was given a standing ovation at Camden Yards in his first home at-bat following treatment for colon cancer.
Just awesome ❤️ pic.twitter.com/LFfeI0x2TG
— ESPN (@espn) April 9, 2021
Other fanbases have also given Mancini a round of applause or standing ovations, as a way of acknowledge what he had to go through to keep playing in the bigs and living his dream.
Stage 3 cancer is a very serious issue, and Mancini had the strength, courage and determination not only to overcome it, but also, to get himself in shape and play in the best baseball league in the world.
With Mancini, fans all over the country and the world just put any rivalries aside, and recognize what a great story he is.
He represents resilience: the ability to recover from obstacles and keep pushing forward with a goal in mind.
Like He Never Left
And just to be clear, Mancini hasn’t lost a beat since he last played in the big leagues before this season, which was 2019.
Through 76 games, he is hitting .255/.331/.458 with 14 home runs and 52 RBI in his return season, which is in virtually in line with his career production (.273/.334/.481).
Trey Mancini – Baltimore Orioles (13)
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) June 20, 2021
In fact, he is taking walks like never before (his 9.1 walk rate is the highest of his career) and there is a case to be made he has been unlucky and should see that bad luck revert positively at some point.
Statcast’s expected weighted on-base average, or xwOBA, considers the quantity and quality of contact as opposed to wOBA, which just analyzes outcomes (walks, strikeouts, hits, doubles, home runs, etc.)
His xwOBA is .373, while his actual wOBA is .341.
Better days are ahead for Mancini, both in a baseball field and in life.
And the whole MLB universe, including teams, coaches, managers, players, front offices, media, and fans, are all rooting for him to develop his career with no further medical incidents to report.
In a year filled with controversies with the ball, substances applied to it, and an upcoming CBA negotiation that is shaping up to be ugly, Mancini is MLB’s best story in 2021.