It’s almost impossible to be better with a new team than Trey Mancini has been with the Houston Astros.
Mancini was recently part of one of the most confusing trade deadline decisions in recent memory, as he was traded from the Baltimore Orioles despite his long time connection to the organization and the team’s new found success:
For their part, the Astros clearly saw an opportunity to add some offense to their already potent lineup, as Mancini’s been a well above average hitter this season and had a tremendous 2019 with 35 home runs, a .291/.364/.535 line and a 132 wRC+.
But even they couldn’t have expected what he’s done so far.
Since he made the move to Houston, Mancini has had three hits, all of which have been home runs.
The capper was a grand slam against the Cleveland Guardians in the 3rd inning of Friday’s game:
Before the trade, Mancini had just 10 home runs with the Orioles and a .404 slugging percentage. In only 11 plate appearances with the Astros, he has 3 home runs and a 1.091 slugging percentage.
Hard to make a bigger impact than that.
Surprisingly, even after dealing Mancini, the Orioles have continued to play well, winning their last four games in a row.
As of Saturday afternoon, they sit just 1.5 games out of a playoff spot behind the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays, both of whom made significant deadline acquisitions. They also have the same Baseball-Reference “SRS,” a rating system designed to measure team strength, as the San Diego Padres.
While the Orioles sold off, the Padres revamped most of their roster to try and make the postseason.
The Astros, meanwhile, have benefitted from Mancini’s early success, and now sit only a half game behind the New York Yankees for the best record in the American League.
It’s unlikely Mancini only hits home runs the rest of the season, but at the very least the early returns have been the best possible result for his new team.