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Friday Bird Droppings: Where Cedric Mullins is a Silver Slugger

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The breakout Orioles All-Star earned another honor as one of the three best offensive outfielders in the AL.

MLB: Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

The Orioles may have gotten shut out of MLB’s major end-of-season awards. But a few of their standout performers have managed to earn other accolades for their 2021 heroics.

Ryan Mountcastle and Trey Mancini were honored in the MLBPA Players’ Choice Awards as the AL’s Outstanding Rookie and Comeback Player of the Year, respectively. And now, Cedric Mullins — the club’s best player, lone All-Star, and unanimous Most Valuable Oriole for 2021 — has gotten his just reward, named as one of the AL’s three Silver Slugger winners in the outfield.

Mullins made it an easy decision for the managers and coaches who vote for the Silver Slugger awards. He was the only player in the league this season — and the first in Orioles history — with both 30 homers and 30 steals. His .878 OPS was third best among AL outfielders, and his 5.3 fWAR was second only to Aaron Judge, who also won a Silver Slugger (along with Blue Jays All-Star outfielder Teoscar Hernandez).

I’m going to ask you a question, Camden Chatters, and I want you to be honest. If I had told you before the 2021 season began that an O’s hitter would win a Silver Slugger, how many guesses would you have needed before you landed on Cedric Mullins? For me, it would have been at least, I don’t know, a dozen? Heck, back in spring training, I didn’t even think he’d be an everyday player — he was expected to be a fourth outfielder or possible platoon guy with Austin Hays. And he was only thought to be a defense- and speed-first guy, not anything special with the bat.

Look at Cedric now. What a year. What a story. And what a well-deserved honor.

Links

Cedric Mullins wins a Silver Slugger Award - Steve Melewski
Melewski mulls Mullins’ momentous milestone.

Taking a closer look at some minor league free agents (updated) - School of Roch
A boatload of minor league free agents around baseball have spent time in the Orioles’ system, including a bunch of guys I thought had retired years ago. We have a Tim Beckham sighting!

Connolly: Analyzing the Orioles’ current 40-man roster and looming changes – The Athletic
Dan Connolly takes a look at the current state of the Orioles’ roster. Warning: it ain’t pretty.

Another milestone for Cal Ripken Jr. - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Cal Ripken’s foundation just built its 100th baseball field. Nice job, Cal! Just 2,532 more to go!

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Two former Orioles were born on this day: 2005 outfielder Sammy Sosa (53) and the late Don Johnson (b. 1926, d. 2015), a right-hander on the 1955 Orioles.

On this day in 1980, the Orioles won their sixth AL Cy Young Award in club history, with Steve Stone taking home the honors after a 25-7 season. That was one of the all-time out-of-nowhere seasons in MLB history, as the 32-year-old Stone had never reached anything close to those heights before that year, and his career lasted just one more season afterward. The Orioles haven’t won a Cy Young in the 41 years since.