6) Trey Mancini
One of the most beloved players in the game, Trey Mancini also picked up a ring in his first year as an Astro. The former Oriole was the prized possession James Click landed at the trade deadline, coming to Houston after six seasons in Baltimore. Mancini’s bat made him a top target, with a career .270 batting average and .787 OPS.
In his time as an Astro, Mancini struggled mightily with his bat, possibly from rather erratic playing time. Mancini was expected to be a perfect fit in Houston with a deep lineup offering protection and the Crawford Boxes providing a launching pad in left, but Trey hit only .176 with a .622 OPS.
His struggles at the plate magnified in the postseason, finishing his first playoff experience 1-21 with 1 RBI. His lone hit didn’t come until Game 6 of the World Series, when he was likely in the lineup strictly as an injury replacement for Yuli Gurriel.
To his credit, Mancini didn’t let his struggles at the plate impact his defense, making what would have been the defensive play of the postseason (were it not for Chas McCormick) after entering Game 5 as a defensive replacement for Gurriel.
Persevering through his struggles at the plate and a dark era of Orioles baseball make Mancini a deserving enough candidate. Additionally, Mancini’s overcoming of colon cancer make him incredibly deserving.
Mancini missed the entire 2020 season while fighting the disease. After winning the ALCS, Mancini said, “Baseball was the last thing on my mind. I just wanted to live.”
He’s now come back to the game he loves and sits on top, a champion for the first time. Congrats Trey!