Cedric Mullins Receives His Well-Deserved 2021 Award

Cedric Mullins #31 of the Baltimore Orioles poses for a portrait during Photo Day at Ed Smith Stadium on March 17, 2022 in Sarasota, Florida.
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

For years, Baltimore Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullins tried to make it as a switch-hitter in the major leagues, but the results weren’t always pretty.

In parts of three seasons, in the 2018-2020 period, he posted OPS finishes of .671, .337, and .723, respectively.

Enter 2021.

He was a switch-hitter until that spring, and focused on hitting left-handed, which is actually his natural side.

The results were excellent: he broke out with a .291/.360/.518 line, 30 home runs, and 30 stolen bases.

His OPS was a steady .878, and he managed to score 91 runs for the Orioles, a quite impressive accomplishment in his own right.

Hitting left-handed exclusively wasn’t the only adjustment he made before the start of last season, but it was, by far, the most significant.

He Broke Out Big Time In 2021

It fueled a full-on breakout by a player who always had some promise, but perhaps never imagined he would have that kind of season.

The results of his hard work and dedication were collected on Monday: he received his first career Silver Slugger award, which he earned last year with his awesome play.

Mullins is one of a few building blocks on the Orioles, but since he is still under team control for four more seasons (including 2022), he is a quite valuable trade piece.

The Orioles likely entertained some offers during the offseason, but preferred to keep their center field.

He is not only an impactful hitter, but he is a fantastic fielder at a premium position, and he is one of the fastest and most athletic players in MLB.

Hopefully the Orioles keep him and reach contender status in a few years with him as the leader.

It would make for a nice story.

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