Do we really know that Trey Mancini “can mash?” Our major league sample size is really small. And last year in his first season in AAA, he hit 13 home runs with a .775 OPS. There’s nothing about his AAA production that screams “next Frank Robinson!” Or even “next Matt Adams!” for that matter. You’re engaging in wishful thinking based on stats from the lower minors and general Orioles prospect overhype. But the guy is actually a C prospect. Nobody has seen anything special about him. If he were with almost any other club he wouldn’t even be in the organizational Top 10. He looks to have a chance to carve out a big league career as a platoon and bench bat against lefties, but beyond that is just guesswork. Also, if you’re serious about making an outfielder out of him (considering he’s blocked from every other option for the next three years), he needs to be playing outfield at Norfolk. Of course that wouldn’t preclude Buck from giving him a start or two before he gets sent down, but don’t get used to it.
As for Gentry’s speed and defense, that’s probably more important in this lineup — which has plenty of power hitters — than another (presumed) power hitter. There’s a good reason why the Orioles brought in Bourne in August last year. Maybe Mancini will at least prove to be better than Trumbo out there, but he at least has to have some time to learn the position and get some experience. Gentry, of course, is a question mark because of the problems he’s had with concussions over the past few seasons. But the last time he was in a full platoon role he put up OPS+ seasons of 102 and 109, which is above average. So he ain’t chopped liver.