John Means has materialized as a legitimate staff ace, Trey Mancini is working on another outstanding season, and best of all, Cedric Mullins has come out of absolutely nowhere to establish himself as one of the most exciting hitters in baseball.
There are a few reasons why MLB fans should be aware of what Mullins is doing.
If you don’t buy stock now, you might look up soon and realize that you’ve been overlooking a star.
We present Cedric Mullins' last nine at-bats
— Orioles on MASN (@masnOrioles) June 6, 2021
3. He Will Anchor Baltimore’s Core For Several Years
Mullins is under contract until 2026.
The 26-year-old is in the midst of just his fourth season at the MLB level, and the current season will be his first full campaign.
Mullins exceeded rookie limits during the 2018 season, but he had never appeared in more than 48 games in a year before this one.
With Mullins locked up for the foreseeable future, he will be a key ingredient to Baltimore’s success for years to come as the club looks to finally build a contending team.
2. He’s A Prime Example Of Why Rebuilding Teams Should Be Patient With Young Talent
Mullins was always a relatively highly-regarded prospect in Baltimore’s system, but when he finally got promoted to the Majors in 2018, Mullins struggled greatly.
In fact, he was awful over his first two seasons with the Orioles.
It should be made clear that he only appeared in 67 games from 2018-19, but Mullins battled .197 with a .579 OPS over that span.
It wasn’t until 2020 that he started to show flashes of potential at the big-league level.
Over 48 games in 2020, Mullins finally started to hit for average, and managed a decent slash line of .271/.315/.407.
And in 2021, he’s broken through.
The young star is currently batting .322 with a .923 OPS.
He leads the American League with 73 hits on the year.
Mullins also has nine home runs, 15 doubles, and three triples to his credit.
His 156 OPS+ suggests that he has been 56 percent better than the average hitter this season (in the context of that stat).
Mullins is currently on a six-game hitting streak, during which he is batting .536 with a 1.665 OPS, three home runs, two triples, and two doubles.
1. He Could Become A Perennial MVP Candidate
If Mullins weren’t playing for one of the worst teams in baseball, he’d be firmly in the MVP conversation this season.
His 2.7 WAR puts him on pace for a 7.4 mark, a number which would carry any player into the discussion.
Mullins has the potential to become one of those players who is a WAR magnet.
Mullins is a plus defender and seems to have no trouble accumulating defensive WAR (he’s at 0.4 right now), and it’s obvious that his hitting will provide him with plenty of offensive WAR as long as he’s able to maintain his current success in future years.
Boyce Cedric Mullins II is batting .305 and can do this in the outfield. pic.twitter.com/PnNwtAyxky
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) June 5, 2021
Should those things hold true, Mullins may very well become a perennial MVP threat once the Orioles put a contending team on the field.NEXT: 3 Steps For Baltimore Orioles To Actually Compete In 2022