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Saturday Bird Droppings: Where we are still in awe of Cedric Mullins

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The Orioles have a star, Akin is getting surgery, and Rom is on the rise.

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

Good morning, Birdland!

This has been said a million times, and it deserves to be said a million more: Cedric Mullins has had a ridiculous season.

The Orioles’ centerfield reached the 30/30 mark during Friday night’s loss to the Rangers. He is the first player in franchise history to put on this sort of display of power and speed in a single year.

It’s simple enough to be amazed by the numbers alone. Think about the type of players that normally hit 30+ home runs. They don’t usually look like Mullins. Bryce Harper has 33 homers this year, Giancarlo Stanton has 32, Jose Abreu’s only got 29. The point is that while Mullins won’t win a home run crown with that amount, but it is a sign of a legitimate power hitter.

But at the same time he has the fourth-most stolen bases in the sport, and is successful at swiping bags nearly 80% of the time he tries. Oh, and did I mention that he is one of the better outfield defenders in the sport too. His 10 outs above average is in the 96th percentile of all big league fielders.

There are certainly questions about whether Mullins can ever reach this level again in his career. Who knows. But there is little evidence to suggest he will just fall off the earth either. He has sustained this performance for six months, playing almost every single day. He had an OPS of .932 in April, and has an OPS of .937 in September. He’s not slowing down.

What’s even more enjoyable is that the Orioles do not have to do anything regarding Mullins this offseason. An extension could be possible, but might be a hard sell for both sides at the moment. Some corner of the internet will talk about a trade, but that would not be popular among the fanbase, so the front office would need to be very careful.

Instead, we can just enjoy the fact that the Orioles employ one of the best outfielders in baseball, and along with Ryan Mountcastle, Adley Rutschman, and a slew of rising prospects, this team’s offense is in good hands.

Links

Mullins 1st Oriole in 30-30 club: ‘It’s surreal’ | Orioles.com
The Orioles’ franchise is a storied one. Some very talented players have slipped on the orange and black. But none of them have done what Mullins has just achieved. Here’s hoping he does it for many, many more years.

Hyde on Akin, Ciuffo, Baumann and more | School of Roch
It’s a bit of a bummer that Mike Baumann won’t appear again this season, but the reasoning makes sense. There is no point in pushing these young pitchers too hard after a lost 2020 campaign.

Orioles’ Keegan Akin To Undergo Abdominal Surgery | MLB Trade Rumors
Keegan Akin has redeemed himself on the field in the season’s stretch run. It’s still unclear if he will be a starter long term, but he has at least put himself back into the rotation conversation heading into 2022.

Orioles prospect Drew Rom learning how to pitch in big leagues from ‘crafty lefties’ still learning themselves | The Baltimore Sun
Drew Rom is one of the quiet success stories from the Orioles’ minor league system this year. He’s 21 years old and has pitched in Double-A for much of the summer, where he has seen his strikeout and walk rates trend in favorable directions. The 2018 draft pick is going to get himself into the big league picture sooner rather than later.

Brandon Hyde to return as Orioles manager (Ep. 81) | The Warehouse Podcast
Everyone loves a podcast, right? Well, here is mine. You should listen to it. Or not. I can’t tell you what to do.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Tyler Wilson turns 32. He played three seasons with the Orioles from 2015 through 2017, accumulating a 5.02 ERA over 145.1 innings.
  • Vance Worley celebrates his 34th birthday. The bespectacled hurler had one standout season for the Orioles in 2016, when he had a 3.53 ERA over 86.2 innings in a swingman role.
  • Brad Bergeson is 36. He had a three-season run with the Orioles from 2009 through 2011. Altogether he had a 4.68 ERA over nearly 400 innings.

This day in history

1954 - The Orioles draw over 1 million fans in the franchise’s first season since moving from St. Louis.

2014 - O’s reliever Evan Meek grooves a pitch to the retiring Derek Jeter so that the Yankees shortstop could hit a walk-off single in his final game in the Bronx.