Cedric Mullins left no doubt who is the most deserving all-star candidate to represent Birdland last weekend in Charm City. Mullins blasted four home runs in the first two games of a Father’s Day weekend series in Camden Yards against the Toronto Blue Jays.
While helping the Baltimore Orioles end an eight-game losing streak with a 7-1 win Friday night, Mullins had his third multi-home run game of the season and ended up having to tip his cap by the end of Friday night as the fans began chanting “M-V-P” for the effort.
The Birds centerfielder tied the 25-year old franchise record for most multi-home runs by a leadoff batter with Brady Anderson who set the standard in 1996 with three. After the series opener, Mullins was leading the American League in hits and batting average despite not having a murderous row protecting him in the lineup.
“He’s playing like an All-Star,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said . “He just walks around differently. He’s playing with a ton of confidence. He’s gotten better in every single way. His swing is so short right now … I’m really impressed with how far he’s come in two years. It’s amazing, the difference.”
On Saturday, Mullins would separate himself from Anderson in the O’s record books with two more home runs as Orioles Park became the launching pad for both teams once the heat of summer returned to Eutaw Street.
The Baltimore Orioles may finish with the worst record in baseball this season. Still, the organization has a player on their roster worthy enough to send to Denver next month for the Midsummer Classic.
His name is Cedric Mullins AKA CM Storm.
Through the first week and a half of the season, the Orioles outfielder had a batting average of .459, an on-base percentage of .512, and a slugging percentage of .676.
Although still impressive, Mullins’ numbers took a hit at the plate in May as he slashed .255/.366/.396. When you’ve placed such a high bar on yourself, like most players, eventually, your numbers will begin to drop.
Some blame the dip in production on the switch hitter’s batting from the right side of the plate.
Numbers indicate he would have a better chance at longevity if he eliminated one side of the dish by batting southpaw, and the stats have shown that batting lefty is ultimately his best side.
With the change, through the first 29 games of the season, April statistics indicated that Mullins led Major League Baseball in home runs and hits.
As the calendar transitioned from spring to summer, his bat and mental focus became impenetrable as pitchers could not cool him off.
Through the first two weeks of June, Mullins has 12 hits out of 20 tries, totaling seven runs, four RBI, four walks, three homers, and zero strikeouts.
As of June 7, Mullins led the American League in hits after his previous two-game performance, where he went eight for nine with five runs, four RBI, and three home runs.
The man’s bat is hotter than fish grease.
Mullins continues to prove that his skill set is not one-dimensional, as his glovework has been astonishing in center field. Per Statcast, his Outs Above Average are top 10.
Fangraphs.com has him ranked as the best center fielder regarding wins above replacement. Fellow MLB bro Byron Buxton is second on the list, followed by Mike Trout, putting Mullins in good company.
Let us not forget about his work on the bags as he currently has 10 stolen bases on 14 tries, tied for tenth in the big leagues.
Teammate John Means told “The Leadoff Spot” on MLB Network Radio that Mullins is one of the most entertaining players to watch when he is on as he does everything so well.
Means said, “He will bunt, hit for power, plays defense, he is a gold glove caliber center fielder, it is incredible.” He continued, “I saw this coming up in the Minor Leagues as he was one of the best Double-A players I have ever seen as he does everything so well. I am glad he is starting to show.”
Through 63 games, Mullins has accumulated 34 runs with 19 RBI to currently average .321/.387/.527. He has hit safely in eight of nine games in June, collecting 17 out of 36 hits.
The man’s hustle and love for the game have been on full display as he is looking like a guy who could hear his name called for a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger, and probably votes for the leagues’ Most Valuable Player at seasons end.
Mullins is living proof that one must learn to shine in defeat before basking in glory, as losing builds character. Overcoming challenging circumstances will someday make you a champion, and we here at MLBbro.com champion CM smooth as a 2021 MLB All-Star.
Baltimore Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullins continues to make his case to represent the Birds in the American League All-Star Game and it is getting impossible to refute his claim. It was clear from the season’s first week that Mullins came to ball at an auspicious level and MLBbro.com has been there every step of the way.
With conversations swirling about whether the organization sees him as part of their future or whether he will be made available for more prospects at the trade deadline, Birdland’s center fielder continues to mash out and grab clout, despite languishing on a last-place team.
Mullins is the catalyst to Baltimore’s offense and usually, the driving force on the rare occasion that they win games.
He hit safely in 19 of their first 20 victories and helped them rise from their 14-game losing skid with a six-game hitting streak that led to three consecutive wins prior to Saturday’s home loss to the Cleveland Indians at Camden Yards.
In that 10-4 loss, marked by pitcher John Means’ early exit with shoulder fatigue, Mullins provided more evidence to merit AL all-star consideration.
Mullins went 5-for-5 for the second time in his career Saturday and belted two home runs. He is the only Orioles player with multiple home run games this year and drove in three of the team’s four runs and scored the other. That gave him 70 hits for the season which is Top 3 in all of baseball midway through the weekend. Mullins’ 14 doubles and three triples are leading the team as well.
Baltimore has not been represented by more than one all-star since 2014. If Mullins gets the call this year he would be the first Black Knight from B-more to represent at the Midsummer Classic since MLBbro emeritus Adam Jones capped a four-year run in 2015.
Besides an inside-the-park home run, a triple is the most exciting play in the game today. The mere hustle, endurance, and strength to perform such an act is something only guys with that IT factor have. And guys like that deserve a nickname. So MLBbro.com introduces CM Storm.
Baltimore Orioles’ manager Brandon Hyde told MLB.com, “They should put this on an educational film for all young players about how to get out of the box.” He added, “Ball hit, eyes up and incredible hustle. He got to third base so fast. It was a great heads-up play, and we needed it.”
From infancy to the majors, coaches always ask their players to stretch out that single into a double. The display of enthusiasm by Orioles’ center fielder Cedric Mullins after legging one out for the team showed his love for the game.
Success is a function of realistic expectations, but no one expected him to be the human torch at the plate. After Tuesday’s matchup vs. the New York Mets, Mullins, in only 36 games, is averaging .308 at the dish with 44 hits on the season.
Mullins was a highly-touted prospect in the Orioles’ farm system after earning the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year before eventually achieving his climb to the show during Week 1 of the 2019 season.
Being a consummate pro can grow tiresome at times, but like the G.O.A.T. Michael Jordan once said, “I can accept failure as everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
Trying He Did
Mullins traveled down a wormhole after early-season struggles got him demoted back to Triple-A before he ultimately spent the remainder of the 2019 season in Double-A.
“I’ve never had that much failure,” said Mullins. “It was humbling going back to square one and, you know, just being able to see what created success for the future.”
The pursuit of happiness continued as his constant grind ultimately got him called back up during the 2020 pandemic shortened season. He accounted for 16 runs and 10 extra bases to average .271 on the year.
His continued success came as he narrowed his focus on one side of the plate. While in the minors, Mullins was a destroyer of the cowhide as a switch hitter, but the numbers indicated that he would have a better chance of longevity if he eliminated one side of the plate by batting southpaw which he agreed is ultimately his best side.
“It was getting difficult trying to navigate two different swings,” said Mullins. “I tried to do the best I can to see if it could develop, but it just didn’t work out that way, so I feel like going left on the left was the best decision.”
With the change through the first 29 games of the season, April statistics indicated that Mullins led Major League Baseball in home runs and hits. His bat and mental focus are impenetrable as pitchers aren’t able to cool him off.
Look for the young phenom to stay hot as the O’s host the high-powered New York Yankees this weekend in a three-game homestand. Friday’s first pitch is at 7:05 p.m. EDT.