Not only did he break out last year with the only 30-30 season in MLB, but he has kept his offensive momentum going in 2022 by hitting .248/.320/.442 with four homers, four steals, and 17 runs scored.
Considering the current run-scoring environment in MLB, that line has been pretty valuable.
In addition to his offensive excellence, Mullins is also a terrific fielder.
In the second inning of Monday’s matinee against the Kansas City Royals, Mullins made a running catch that prevented a base hit, at least, and possibly a double.
Most of his highlight-reel catches in center field are going back or to either side, but the catch he made today required him to spring in, towards the infield.
Cedric Mullins being Cedric Mullins 🔥 pic.twitter.com/piAWaQ0L4a
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) May 9, 2022
A Resourceful Center Fielder
Mullins had to use all of his resources: a quick read and a fast jump, then his full-speed spring and balance.
But he made the improbable catch.
Even second baseman Rougned Odor lifted his hands in celebration when he saw Mullins actually came away with the ball before it hit the grass.
This season, Statcast metrics such as outfield jump and Outs Above Average don’t favor Mullins too much: he is in the 44th percentile in the former and in the 34th percentile in the latter.
However, the sample size is too small to be heavily considered, especially when we have what he did last year over a much bigger sample as proof of his defensive prowess.
In 2021, Mullins was in the 69th percentile in outfield jump and in the 97th percentile in Outs Above Average, rating as an excellent defender.
He put those skills on display on Monday with his amazing catch, which robbed Whit Merrifield of a hit.