Cedric Mullins is named Most Valuable Oriole; Hyde: 'There are going to be higher expectations next year, no doubt' - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Cedric Mullins is named Most Valuable Oriole; Hyde: ‘There are going to be higher expectations next year, no doubt’

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Cedric Mullins, the first Oriole ever to record 30 home run and 30 steals in a season, was named the Most Valuable Oriole on Wednesday. Mullins was a unanimous choice for the award, which is voted on by members of the media who regularly cover the Orioles. Members were allowed to make three choices, and Mullins received all the first-place votes.

Mullins has had a breakout year, hitting .297 with 173 hits, 59 RBIs and an .897 OPS. He’s one of seven players in the majors and two in the American League with an average above .295 and an OPS above .895.

Mullins also has been stellar in center field, making a number of acrobatic catches, the most notable coming against the Yankees when he went high above the wall to take away a home run from Gary Sanchez.

Mullins ranks fourth in the American League in hits and second in stolen bases. He was the starting centerfielder in the All-Star Game, getting the nod after Mike Trout was injured.

What makes Mullins’ season even more impressive is that he wasn’t with the Orioles at the end of the 2019 season. He began that season as the team’s centerfielder, went 6-for-64 (.094) and was demoted to Triple-A Norfolk and then to Double-A Bowie.

“I’d say the amount of confidence I have now as compared with two years ago is significantly different,” said Mullins, who turns 27 on Friday. “Looking back at where I was, I feel like there were certain things I was continually worrying about and trying to be competitive as a switch-hitter was one of them.”

After Mullins hit .271 with three home runs, 12 RBIs and seven steals in 48 games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, he decided to stop being a switch-hitter and came into this season as strictly a left-handed hitter. Mullins said he was surprised by the results.

“The success that I had against left-handing pitching, being that I hadn’t done it in 10-plus years. The goal was trying to be competitive on the field every day and that was the best decision for it,” he said. “I’m glad it worked out in my favor.”

Oriole manager Brandon Hyde noticed early this season that Mullins was a different player.


“He’s got a ton of confidence,” Hyde said. “He really believes in himself. I think he puts more pressure on himself than he’s going to feel from the outside. How consistent he’s been this year without any dropoff during the course of the year shows you how confident he is and how consistent he can play.

“There are going to be higher expectations next year, no doubt. That comes along with the territory of having a good major league season and people expect you to do it again. I just want Cedric to be Cedric. If he hits 30 homers again, great. If not, he’s going to put up great numbers the way he’s been putting up numbers all year.”

Mullins has played in 154 of the Orioles’ 157 games and should get some votes for American League Most Valuable Player, even though he’s on a team that is 51-106.

Trey Mancini, John Means, Ryan Mountcastle, Anthony Santander and Ramón Urías also received votes in the top three. I voted for Mullins, Mountcastle and Means. Ballots were due on August 31st.

Mullins will receive his award before Wednesday night’s game.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB




  1. CalsPals

    September 29, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    Congrats to all, I would’ve voted for Mullins, Mountcastle & Mancini, especially with what Trey overcame this last yr…go O’s…

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 29, 2021 at 2:17 pm

      I gave Trey lots of thought, and many others did, too.

      • Phil770

        September 30, 2021 at 10:40 am

        Rich, thanks for your continued coverage and sharing your vote. Thank goodness you did not vote for Urias! Seriously, how many voters are there for this recognition/award?

  2. OriolesNumber1Fan

    September 29, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    Congratulations to a Cedric Mullins!!! He deserves it and was the number one Oriole I would have voted for with Trey Mancini coming in a close second! Just so happens that this was the batting order for a lot of games this year!

    • CalsPals

      September 29, 2021 at 2:14 pm

      Should’ve been the whole yr w/Mountcastle batting 3rd…go O’s…

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        September 29, 2021 at 3:19 pm

        I agree, for this year. For next year I put 1) CF Mullins, 2) 2B Mateo, 3) 1B Mountcastle, 4) DH Mancini, 5) RF Santander, 6) C Rutschman, 7) LF Hays, 8) SS Urias, 9) 3B Gutierrez
        SP Means
        Barring any trades or free agent signings. Mateo just started showing his skills before he got hurt. Could flip Urias and Mateo. I believe a true number 2 hitter should be a patient hitter who could hit the ball the other way on the fastball and be a fast, good baserunner! Mateo and Urias both have the skills to do both. Mullins, with Mateo or Urias would give Mountcastle, Mancini, Santander or Rutschman great RBI chances!
        Suddenly this lineup is looking pretty good.

    • HmmmImNotSoSureAboutThat

      September 29, 2021 at 2:29 pm

      Mullins Mancini Mouncastle batting 1-2-3 happened 8 times this season, they went 3-5 which is a better than their current winning %.

    • CalsPals

      September 29, 2021 at 3:33 pm

      Only other place maybe, Hays at 2, agree, for the same reasons, not looking bad…go O’s…

  3. HmmmImNotSoSureAboutThat

    September 29, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    Congrats to Cedric Mullins. Mullins, Means, and Hays have the Orioles top WAR figures as of today. Guess Hays didn’t receive any votes due to the 8/31 voting deadline, as his WAR figure went up during his very impressive September. Guess Santander’s strong August got him some 2nd or 3rd place votes. Seems like the voting deadline could be pushed back to 9/15, if not even a little bit later. I think Mancini’s story is wonderful and motivating but would have a hard putting him in the top three most valuable Orioles this season…thankfully he will most likely win AL Comeback Player of the Year.

  4. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 29, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    Nobody more deserving.

    I find the Urias vote interesting in that somebody placed Ramon’s contribution ahead of either Mullins, Mountcastle, Means or all 3? (not to mention Mancini)

    HummerNotSoSureAboutThat … did you have a vote in this?

    • HmmmImNotSoSureAboutThat

      September 29, 2021 at 2:34 pm

      BRR Mullins was a unanimous 1st place selection on all ballots. Here read this again “Mullins was a unanimous choice for the award, which is voted on by members of the media who regularly cover the Orioles. Members were allowed to make three choices, and Mullins received all the first-place votes.” Ramon is 4th or 5th in WAR, ahead of both Mountcastle and Mancini…deal with it best you can

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 29, 2021 at 3:28 pm

        Now who’s being a bit sensitive?

        Somebody voted for a Punch and Judy … part time player (262 abs…not enough to qualify) … a man that played poorly enough early in the season to warrant being sent down to the minor leagues … over the likes Mountcastle or Means or Mancini? And you back it?

        Why? Why defend that vote? Because of one silly algorhithm, that you more likely than not, don’t even understand the mathematics of, assigns a higher number to your pet player? This comparison shows just how misleading WAR (or any stat for that matter) can be. I’m surprised that you didn’t mention the OPS as you usually do. Actually I think I do understand why you didn’t mention it.

        Simple common sense tells you that vote for Urias is a farce. I’m surprised that you are silly enough to defend that one.

        • HmmmImNotSoSureAboutThat

          September 29, 2021 at 7:44 pm

          Wasn’t being sensitive, just trying to point out that, well, you missed what was plainly written by Rich in the first paragraph (that Mullins won MVO unanimously, he received all the first place votes but you wrote “…somebody placed Ramon’s contribution ahead of either Mullins, Mountcastle, Means or all 3?”) and then you just go on and on. I never defended the vote for Urias in the top three of MVO. I stated Urias was 4th or 5th in WAR on the team and that was higher WAR than Mountcastle and Mancini’s WAR. If you want to spin that as defending MVO votes for Urias, that’s you just being insufferable you. Reading comprehension is not you strong suit BRR lol…

          A farce? That’s your picture next to the definition of farce in the dictionary BRR…

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            September 29, 2021 at 10:18 pm

            Oooooh….don’t like being called out in front of the other kids for a change do we Joey? Turn-about is NOT fair play?

            Yeah, you got me on that one. You’re correct in that I shouldn’t have included Mullins name with the list that included the other 3 M’s. I admit my own confusion there. Old age catches up with everyone, even our POTUS.

            But my point was Urias got a vote over any one of the 4 M’s … which is a farce. He wasn’t even a starter for crying out loud.

            And yet you did …yes,yes you DID …defend the pick by throwing another silly stat out there as if to prove he was worthy of even being considered to be selected ahead of one or any of those other 3 M’s, which is simply sillyness … or a farce.

            You’re definately right, reading comprehesion does escape me on occasion. Like for instancee, that last sentence of yours. I can’t for the life of me understand what that last sentence is saying? It’s like a double negative from the logically insane? You know … like a negative times a negative equals a postive? BTW does your dictionary really have pictures?

    • CalsPals

      September 29, 2021 at 3:08 pm

      WAR, one stat that carries way too much weight…go O’s…

    • dlgruber1

      September 29, 2021 at 3:29 pm

      Thank you CalsPals, I actually had to ask what exactly WAR was last week and after Rich explained it I thought “that’s it?”. It to me is the most meaningless stat I’ve ever heard yet it apparently carries a lot of weight for things like ROY and MVP voting. What a joke.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 29, 2021 at 4:23 pm

        DL…I’m not sure I’d call WAR a joke. It’s an honest attempt to rate a players overall game, but I’m not a big fan of it for multiple reasons. First off….you have to be an MIT graduate to even understand the complex algorithm! 2nd .. there are different varations of that algorithm …different organizations can’t seem to agree on one common formula. 3rd, it’s very subjectively weighted to different phases of the game,.

        I much prefer the traditional stats such as average, counting Homers and RBIS …on base pct etc. AND WATCHING the game.

        But just ’cause I don’t understand the algorithm doesn’t make it useless. I’ve noticed that the players that I KNOW are really good, do have have higher WARS than the bums.

        • HmmmImNotSoSureAboutThat

          September 29, 2021 at 7:53 pm

          BRR I will type this real slow so you can hopefully understand it better:
          Urias has the 2nd highest on base pct on the Orioles
          Urias has the highest RISP batting average on the Orioles (0.348 compared to Mullins 0.225, Mancini 0.254, and Mountcastle 0.256)
          I know, I know, it’s a farce anyone would consider him a top 3 MVO and go against the infallible BRR, he’s just a Punch and Judy hitter that you cannot stand for some reason…

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            September 29, 2021 at 10:24 pm

            At least you’re using statistics that I can understand this time.

            As far as Urias….If he is so good … why wasn’t he a starter? Is our manager such as dolt as to not recognize these so clearly superior numbers? Why was he a reserve? Why didn’t he have 500 or so at bats?

            Please type slowiy, I’d really like to understand.

            Oh and to clarify one thing, I like Urias OK …it’s you that I can’t stand.

        • Buzz1979

          September 29, 2021 at 10:58 pm

          What is it good for? “A absolutely nothin’ say it again!”

    • CalsPals

      September 29, 2021 at 8:01 pm

      He wouldn’t start on probably any other team than the O’s, as little as he was here compared to others he should never have been considered…YOU might want to proof read what you write before making fun of someone else, kind of the pot calling the kettle black…lmao…go O’s…

      • Rich Dubroff

        September 29, 2021 at 11:21 pm

        It seems like every year, there’s an outlier who gets a stray vote or two, and this year, it was Urias and Santander’s turn.

  5. dlgruber1

    September 29, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    I didn’t realize players had a vote. I mean, how else can you explain Santander and Urias receiving votes?

    • CalsPals

      September 29, 2021 at 3:35 pm

      ;)…funny…go O’s…

    • HmmmImNotSoSureAboutThat

      September 29, 2021 at 7:54 pm

      Gosh darn it DLG you are just so darn witty, I spit milk through my nose on that one!

    • Icterus fan

      September 29, 2021 at 8:45 pm

      Stop trying to snort milk, and stick to citing your endless supply of infallible statistics. Leave the humor to the humorous.

      • Buzz1979

        September 29, 2021 at 10:27 pm

        A lot of heavy equipment will be needed at season’s end to remove the dead wood from the clubhouse!

  6. NormOs

    September 30, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    Hummer, until you came along there was very little sniping at each other. Now it’s a daily occurence. Of course you can do what you want but you’d be more comfortable over on the MASN blog where everyone snipes at each other. Anyway, have a nice day.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login or Register Here

Leave a Reply

To Top