In 2015, the Orioles selected a 13th round pick out of Campbell University. A switch hitting outfielder who played one season of college ball and batted .340, while stealing 23 bases. At best, he was thought as maybe a reserve outfielder.
Cedric Mullins was a good college talent with potential, but being a 13th round pick, there was not much pressure to become a top prospect. But that didn’t mean Mullins wouldn’t try to prove the doubters wrong.
Mullins didnt light up the minor league system offensively, batting a combined .265 over five campaigns. But he stole 110 bases (81%) and committed just 10 errors, while completing 16 outfield assists. By 2018, the Orioles were going to find out what they had.
On August 10, 2018, Cedric Mullins would make his Major League debut. Over the course of the next 45 games, there was some potential, as he averaged almost a hit a game, while walking 17 times and driving in 11. He also hit four home runs and with nine doubles, showing some power potential.
The Orioles decided to let Mullins become their everyday center fielder to open 2019 season; Mullins’ chance to shine would be on full display. Unfortunately, that lasted a whole 22 games, and Mullins was bad enough to be sent down to Triple-A Norfolk.
He opened the season batting just .094. He managed six hits across 64 at-bats. Granted he had two triples, but he also managed to steal only one base; this was not the same player the Orioles saw at the end of 2018.
Unfortunately for Mullins, it didn’t get much better in Triple-A, as he batted just .205 at Norfolk and was demoted to Double-A Bowie. This was not what Mullins had worked towards, and it was looking like he might wash out of baseball.
But Mullins was given a shot again in 2020 in a pandemic-shortened season, and this time he came to play. Batting .271, while compiling 10 extra base hits (4 doubles, 3 triples and 3 home runs) and stealing seven bases in nine attempts. But this was just the beginning of what was to come.
With the Orioles in the third year of a complete organizational rebuild, Mullins knew he had to step up if he wanted to be a part of the Orioles’ future. And step up he did.
Out of the gate, he had a strong spring training, which translated into a strong start to the season. Scrapping the switch hitter role, Mullins has put on a stronger showing as the player he always truly claimed to be, a left-handed hitter.
He has batted .284 against left-handed pitchers, which is good for second among left-handed hitters. He has been in the top five in hits all season, while batting over .300 and having a weekend when he actually had 11 official at-bats without an out. Across 147 games, Mullins has been an All-Star and has made history in Baltimore.
Mullins had more home runs at the All-Star break than his minor league career average and was making defensive plays that were getting national spotlight, yet across the sports world, he was hardly spoken about.
That time has changed, as Cedric has become the first and only player in Orioles history to join the 30/30 club. Mullins is the first Oriole to join the club in the team’s 67-year history and only the second in franchise history, as Ken Williams joined the club with the St. Louis Browns in 1922. A phenomenal and rare achievement, when you think only 43 players have joined the exclusive club across 152 years of Major League Baseball.
Mullins also has the chance to become the first player in 70 years to finish in top-five in MVP voting from a 100-loss team since Ned Garver in 1951, surprisingly also from the St. Louis Browns.
Cedric Mullins has placed himself right in the center of the Orioles’ rebuild with his historic 2021 season, making the record books not only for the Orioles, but for Major League Baseball as well.
From us at the Baltimore Battery, we would like to congratulate Ceddy on his amazing feat, and we look forward to seeing what other history he will be making here in Birdland!
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