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5 Amazing Baseball Pre Game Routines With a Batting Tee

Click play (above) to watch Trey Mancini break down his pregame hitting routine. Video Length: 5 Minutes 10 Seconds.

In this video, Orioles outfielder/1st baseman Trey Mancini shares the exact daily baseball pre-game routine he was using the same season he hit a career-high 35 homers.  

Also, “The Man with the Thunder Hands” (as Carlos Pena calls Mancini) gives some MASSIVE tips for your swing and your pregame hitting routine.

Video Transcript

I'm here with the man, Trey Mancini, the man with thunder hands, a patient hitter, and Trey, thank you for giving us this time.

Trey: Yeah, nice to go through your routine. Absolutely, sounds good to me.

Interviewer: Yeah, I'm here. What do we want to do? I want to see what you did to get ready for 35 home runs this year, and he's going for more.

Trey: Yeah, hopefully. Yeah, so I'm gonna try. Yeah, when I'm in the cage, I try to keep it pretty simple. Coming up through the minors and even before that, I'd used to just take a lot of front toss swings, probably way too many, and didn't really have much purpose behind them. So as I've gotten a little older, I've just kind of wanted to focus on more of the detail in my work and maybe taking a few less swings but focusing on what I'm doing in the cage. So, with that being said, I'd pretty much just do tee work, and then I'll crank the machine up after, and kind of eliminate front toss or anything like that. So, those are the main ones, it's pretty simple. So, the main two things I focus on is just tee and then getting some velocity coming in because when you're up there in the game, you know, the front tosses aren't gonna translate extremely well, at least for me. I know a lot of guys still like doing that. But, um, yeah, I just try to get that game-like pop first. The tee work after you do that, and then you can crank the machine up.

Interviewer: The tee work for you sounds good, and we can see that sweet swing of yours.

Trey: Yeah. First, I'll just take, I'll get the short bat, and I'll do some bottom and top-hand rolls. Not too many, maybe like five to seven each arm. So, with this, I'm just kind of focusing on getting my elbow in closer to my body and getting pretty much, it's more getting your hands down and in plane to stay through the zone longer. So that's why I really like this, and I used to not do short bat work, but I've started to like it. Yeah, last year I did a lot of short bat work, and I really liked it. So, I'll do some bottom-hand like that, and then top-hand, I kind of have a tough time because I grew up a tennis player, actually. So, a lot of times, I want to get on top, so I'm always tempted to do that. But, at this time, trying to keep it, you know, like I said with the other arm, keep that elbow down to the hip pretty soon and get that bat in the zone and try to keep it on plane for a long time.

Interviewer: Do you still try to whip it, or do you more like a push?

Trey: It's almost more like a push, I'd say. You know, when I was coming up and before, I think I'd whip it a little more, and now I just kind of want to get the bat lined up and push it through like that a little bit.

Interviewer: After that, I actually take a few swings, full swings with the short bat, is if you're staying in line, you're gonna make solid contact, and the ball will go with the trajectory you want. If you're coming out like this and bailing out a little bit, you'll hit a ground ball usually, and the short bat really exposes that. It just matches so well because when I watch you hit, and that's exactly what it seems like. Everything just looks so simple. It's just click and hit, click hit, like you load and then you hit. Exactly what you're talking about here in your routine. You keep things simple.

Trey: Yeah, because when you're up at the plate, you can't be thinking too much, and you want to keep it as simple as possible. My main thought is keeping everything in line. No matter whether it's inside, outside, I want to have the same swing every time, the same path to the ball. So that's my main focus in here. And then, all I do, I show up at Oracle.

Interviewer: A real bat.

Trey: Yeah, I go back to my real bat, and then I'll do about probably four outside. Watch this, though.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Trey: So, I'll do about four outside like that and then move it to the middle right there.

Interviewer: See what I'm talking about? The lightning, the thunder hands here, down. Then, I'll move it in for a few, too. So, she's elevated from the outside.

Trey: Boom.

Interviewer: Outside in, and then I finish outside again. I'll take about two or three more on the outside to finish up there, kind of get my body feeling like it's going that way again, Trey.

Trey: And, you know, I read in an article, you were talking about aiming higher with your swing, and I thought that was interesting, and I really wanted to see if we could break it down for us, if you don't mind giving you some of your secrets.

Trey: Oh, yeah, for sure.

Interviewer: So yeah, higher, and I had a conversation in the beginning of September last year about we were happy with how my year was going, how I did, but we thought that I still had a little more from a power perspective. For a guy that's considered maybe a power hitter, I hit a lot of grounders still, and we decided to maybe set my sights a little higher. So that's what I was referencing in a few of the articles. So, what that means is usually coming up, I try to hit a line drive at the second baseman. Now, I'm just trying to hit the batter's eye on a line, pretty much. So, that's the only adjustment I made. At this age, it's tough to make a swing overhaul and swing adjustments, and I didn't really want to do that. But even just setting my sights a little higher really helped me drive the ball better in September.

Interviewer: I think it's amazing to me how simple you keep everything, and that's exactly what I had observed.

Inside This Video:

  1. Trey Manchini shows his full baseball pre-game routine for hitting
  2. How to focus on quality over quantity 
  3. The proper use of a batting tee, and how it should fit into a good baseball hitting routine. 
  4. The #1 thing he strives to achieve in his pregame hitting tee work
  5. Why he has “pretty much eliminated front toss”

What Equipment Is He Using?

In this video, Trey Mancini is using the Tanner Heavy Tee

Trey Mancini’s Baseball Pre Game Routine

You’re going to love this because it’s short and to the point.  

Every swing has a purpose.  Every drill has a focus and a reason for being included.  

“When I’m in the cage, I like to keep it pretty simple.  When I was coming up, I used to do a lot of front toss.  Probably too much.  I would take a lot of swings without much purpose to them.  As I’ve gotten older, I want to focus more on the detail of my work and take a few less swings.  Focusing more on what I’m doing in the cage.  I do some tee and then face a machine.  I’ve pretty much eliminated front toss.”

Orioles Trey Mancini sharing a baseball pre-game routine

Baseball Pre Game Routine Drill #1 - Bottom Hand, Short Bat Drill on Batting Tee

  • One arm swing with short bat
  • Batting tee 
  • 5 to 7 swings each arm 
  • Bottom hand - Focus on keeping lead elbow close to the body, getting your hands down and on plane to stay in the zone longer

“I used to not do a lot of short bat work, but last year I did a lot of short bat work” - Trey Mancini

(This might be a good time to mention “last year” was the 2019 season when he hit 35 bombs for the Baltimore Orioles)

[For a detailed explanation of the top hand drill and bottom hand drills, with checkpoints, common mistakes, and video breakdown, check out this helpful book Baseball Hitting Drills for a Batting Tee.  Includes free videos, one for each drill in the book)

Orioles Trey Mancini sharing a baseball pre-game routine

Baseball Pre Game Routine Drill #2 - Top Hand, Short Bat

  • One arm swing with a short bat
  • Batting tee 
  • Top hand Focus - Getting the elbow down in the hip (in the “power position”) and keep the barrel in the zone for a long time; Beware that you don’t drop the bat path/get under and top spin it.
Orioles Trey Mancini sharing a baseball pre-game routine

Baseball Pre Game Routine #3 - Full Swings With Short Bat

  • Regular swing with short bat
  • Batting tee 
  • Then take some full swings with the short bat.  If you’re staying in line, you’ll make solid contact.  If you’re flying open, then you’ll hit a ground ball.  And the short bat really exposes that.  
Orioles Trey Mancini sharing a baseball pre-game routine
If you’re flying open, then you’ll hit a ground ball.  And the short bat really exposes that. 


“When you’re up at the plate, you can’t be thinking too much.  You really want to keep it as simple as possible.  My main thought is keeping everything in line, and whether it’s inside or outside, I want to have the same swing, the same path to the ball.  So that’s my main focus in here.”  

- Trey Mancini, Outfielder & 1st Baseman for the Baltimore Orioles

Orioles Trey Mancini sharing a baseball pre-game routine

Baseball Pre Game Routine Drill #4 - “Then After That, I Go Back to My Real Bat”

“Then I hit 4 on the outside, then move it to the middle, then move it inside and take a few more.  Then I go back to the outside and finish there.”  

  • Full swings with a regular bat
  • Outside Pitch - Set up the batting tee for an outside pitch and take 4 swings
  • Down the middle - Set up the tee for an outside pitch and take 4 swings
  • Inside Pitch - Set up the tee for an outside pitch and take 4 swings
  • Back to Outside  - Set up the tee for an outside pitch and take 4 swings

For tips on exactly where to place the bat for pitches on the outside, middle, and inside, watch the video (below), where former MN Twin Doug Bernier explains proper tee placement.

Baseball Pre-Game Routine Drill #5 - Pitching Machine

After his tee work, Mancini likes to go straight into facing velocity.  In his words, “I’ve pretty much eliminated front toss”

Special Thanks

It has not escaped our attention that this video was filmed just days before Trey was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer.  During this time, Trey was struggling with extreme fatigue, but he still showed up to share his knowledge with all of us. Thank you for being a class act, Trey Mancini. 

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