The Baltimore Orioles may have been historically bad in 2021, but they actually had one of the most impressive breakout performers of the season on their roster.
Outfielder Cedric Mullins came out of nowhere to become the only 30-30 (at least 30 homers and steals) in MLB last year, and he did it while slashing .291/.360/.518 and putting up a fantastic Wins Above Replacement (WAR) output, with 5.3.
He unlocked his offensive potential by ditching switch-hitting and focusing on batting left-handed.
But enough with his offense, and let’s, for a second, focus on his jaw-dropping defense.
“Superman had a Cedric Mullins poster on his wall,” the Starting 9 Twitter account hilariously wrote while introducing Mullins’ latest defensive gem.
Superman had a Cedric Mullins poster on his wall. pic.twitter.com/4Wp0U16e7B
— Starting 9 (@Starting9) March 30, 2022
Mullins Is A Very Good Fielder In Addition To Being A Good Hitter
MLB is full of players who only excel at hitting but are bad fielders.
Mullins, however, excels at both, which makes him one of the most valuable commodities in baseball.
In addition to his outstanding offensive production, Mullins ranked in the 96th percentile in Statcast’s Outs Above Average, one of the most accurate defensive metrics around.
What does that percentile ranking means?
That only four percent of his peers were better than him.
Other defensive metrics didn’t like Mullins so much, such as Defensive Runs Saved (DRS), where he had -1, or Ultimate Zone Rating, or UZR, where he finished at -5.7.
Neither number is extraordinarily bad, though, and we prefer to stick with Outs Above Average and the eye test.
In this case, the eye test doesn’t lie: Mullins is a sound defender, and he showed it once again in spring training.