By Contributing Writer: Chuck Boemmel Jr.
The early season buzz in the Baltimore Orioles organization was all about Bowie Baysox (Class-AA) outfielder Cedric Mullins. The buzz has softened a bit due to Mullins being on the disabled list from April 21st through June 3rd due to a hamstring injury.
Photo: Patrick Cavey
It is no secret that Mullins is both a favorite of mine and of BabyBirdland as well.
During the 14 games prior to the injury, Mullins was slashing .367/ .406/ .683 with 11 RBI, 4 homeruns and 17 runs scored. In the 16 games since returning to the everyday lineup Mullins is slashing .282/ .321/ .493 with 11 RBI, 4 homeruns and 9 runs scored (at time article was written). He certainly is working his back into shape and is currently riding a 9 game hitting streak (at time article was written).
I first wrote about Mullins in January and can say that no article that I have written has garnered the response that one did. I heard form several people including his Campbell University coaches Justin Haire and Chris Marx as well as Eddie Phelps of the Georgia Baseball and Softball Academy Rays (Mullins played youth travel baseball for that Nationally renowned organization).
Based on correspondence I’ve had with these three individuals in particular I have learned a lot about Mullins and thought that Orioles fans would like to get to know him better as well.
Mullins was born in Greensboro, NC on Oct. 1, 1994 to Sheila and Boyce Mullins. He has a brother, Kyle and a sister, Sharlyn. He attended Brookwood High School in Snellsville, Georgia where he played baseball in one of the toughest regions in Georgia and ironically enough played against fellow Oriole minor leaguer Josh Hart (Frederick Keys) who played for the storied Parkview High School Baseball team. He graduated high school a year early in 2012.
Mullins has played with and against some of the best players in the nation including Matt Olson (Oakland), Mac Marshall (San Francisco), Lucas Sims (Atlanta) and Trey Martin (Chicago Cubs).
At 5’8”, 175 lbs., Mullins does not have the size and physical attributes that major league scouts and coaches necessarily look for. His ability and drive have shown that size does not matter.
Of Mullins, Mr. Phelps had this to say, “Cedric’s size has always been in question. Cedric can flat out hit. He has done it at every level. Cedric has always been a gamer and a great kid to be around. He is never happy with his performance; he feels he can always get better. Cedric isn’t just a great player but a great mentor to others. We have had several players drafted from this organization (TR Rays) and Cedric has helped them all in their outfield play. We wish we could have 9 Cedric Mullins on the field at all times. I also see Cedric as an even better version of Michael Bourne with POP in his bat.”
Mullins attended Louisburg Junior College (NC) for two years (2013 and 2014). His stats at Louisburg were:
2013: .376/ .424/ .527 with 26 RBI, 2 homeruns and 28 for 32 in stolen base attempts.
2014: .417/ .463/ .667 with 33 RBI, 7 homeruns and 27 for 27 in stolen base attempts.
He caught the eye of the Campbell coaches with his play at Louisburg and transferred for the 2015 season where he slashed .340/ .386/ .549 with 23 RBI, 4 homeruns and 23 for 27 in stolen base attempts.
Mr. Marx told me this about Mullins weaknesses, “velocity never gave Cedric any trouble but the first half of Cedric’s junior year he struggled covering the outside part of the plate and really struggled with the change-up as a left-handed hitter. He also wasn’t as polished from the right side.” When asked when he knew Mullins had the stuff to move to the next level Mr. Marx said, “about halfway through the season watching Cedric run down what should have been doubles in the gap became mundane. He also figured out some things offensively and pitches that had previously given him trouble were then being hit for extra bases.”
About the qualities Mullins possesses that will make him a successful major leaguer Mr. Marx said, “In addition to the typical qualities…intelligent, respectful, hard-working, attention to detail…I would say Cedric was very humble. We ask our guys to play fast but we ask them to practice even faster. Things like sliding/diving in practice are not always the easiest things to do for the guys who know they have a chance to make their careers in baseball, but Cedric did everything that was asked of him without hesitation.”
I have personally witnessed the way in which Mullins prepares for a game and his attention to detail during warm-ups.
Mullins has impressed at every level of his baseball journey and is currently doing the same in Bowie. His star is definitely on the rise and I would suggest you make the trip to Prince George’s Stadium to watch this consummate baseball player in action. You will not be disappointed and he may even become your favorite as well.