Cubs News

Inside the unconventional practice routine of new Cubs slugger Trey Mancini

1 year agoTony Andracki

Like many of the Cubs’ offseason acquisitions, Trey Mancini arrives in Chicago with a long track record and a good idea of who he is as a player.

He’ll turn 31 next month, has 6 seasons and more than 750 MLB games under his belt and he just won a World Series with the Astros.

Over his career, Mancini has found out what works for him in the batting cage to prepare for a season and how to climb his way out of a slump. He recently took Marquee Sports Network’s Cliff Floyd behind his cage routine and explained how it differed from most players in the league.

For starters, Mancini uses a fungo — a longer, ligther bat that is mostly used by coaches to hit fly balls and grounders for fielding practice.

But Mancini prefers to wield a fungo off the tee first before moving to his normal bat.

“To get warmed up,” Mancini told Floyd. “It’s a little bit lighter, but it’s also a little bit longer and that’s why I like it, too. Whenever things are going a bit south for me, my bat path a lot of times goes towards third base rather than keeping my hands close to my body and moving through where the pitcher is.

“The fungo can expose that because the barrel is much further away from your hands than it normally is with the bat. So it makes you keep your hands closer to your body, which is where you want them.”

Mancini also detailed the rest of his cage routine, including what he learned from future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera.

In general, Mancini tries to keep it simple and get back to the basics — especially when he’s slumping.

“What really helped me get to the major leagues was my hands,” he said. “Just thinking hands. I think sometimes in the last couple years, I thought too much about what everything else is doing — the lower half, everything like that. … I have to be thinking about what my hands are doing.

“When I think my hands are leading the swing, they’re still following my lower half, but it doesn’t feel like that to me. But that’s my cue. I gotta make sure these [hands] are working and these are going with the rest of my back side, with my back hip, with my back shoulder — all going to the ball together.

“But for me to do that, real vs. feel is different. I need to feel like [my hands] are leading the way, which is a little unorthodox. It’s definitely different than a lot of guys think, but that’s what works for me.”

Mancini experienced a bit of a down year in 2022 (.710 OPS, 18 homers) but in the four seasons prior, he averaged 26 homers and an .800 OPS per year.

Check out the entire hitting demo with Mancini and Floyd in the video above.

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