O's hand out Minors awards to Mancini, Drake, Givens

O's hand out Minors awards to Mancini, Drake, Givens

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles handed out their Minor League and player development awards before Saturday's afternoon game against the Yankees.

Baltimore, which named Oliver Drake and Mychal Givens the co-recipients of the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award, also honored Trey Mancini as the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year. While Drake and Givens have seen time with the Orioles this year, Mancini is a bit of an unknown. But on the heels of a breakout season at first base, and with O's first baseman Chris Davis set to hit free agency, Mancini believes he could be an option next season.

"I think it's a realistic possibility," Mancini, rated the Orioles' 12th-best prospect by MLB.com, said of being with Baltimore in 2016, "and I'm going to work very hard this offseason to try to make it one."

Mancini, who hit a combined .341/.375/.563 with 43 doubles, six triples, 21 home runs and 89 RBIs in 136 games between Double-A Bowie and Class A Advanced Frederick, credits a stance change for his power spike.

"In Spring Training, I worked with [vice president of baseball operations] Brady Anderson," Mancini said. "I was lower and more flexed on my legs before. Now, I'm just standing straight up. I feel really, really relaxed with that approach, and I'm hitting the ball out in front, getting some better trajectory on it."

Mancini has also made it a point to improve his defense, a facet of the game that has taken on heightened importance with Orioles manager Buck Showalter at the helm.

"When I got drafted, I say I was a kind of a bull in the China shop a little, going 100 miles an hour," Mancini said. "Not that I didn't make plays, but I looked rushed, and didn't account for how much time I had out there. So, [I'm] just trying to make it look more smooth."

Mancini will spend time this offseason working on both his defense and that new stance. He is trying not to worry about what the big league club does -- or doesn't do -- this winter regarding first base.

"Honestly, my whole approach this year has been to focus on myself. You can't really control anything that goes on," he said. "So, I'm just trying to focus on myself, and I think everything will just take care of itself if I just do that."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.