BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Cedric Mullins became the first player in Baltimore Orioles history to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases, and his production at the plate was recognized Thursday with a Silver Slugger Award given to the best offensive players in baseball.
It’s the centerfielder’s first time receiving a Silver Slugger. Fellow American League outfielders Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees and Teoscar Hernandez of the Toronto Blue Jays were also winners.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Mild Saturday, With Temps Dropping Sunday
The honor marks an incredible turnaround for Mullins, who in 2019 was sent all the way down to Double-A Bowie to reestablish himself after hitting .094 in 22 games with the Orioles and .205 in 66 games with Triple-A Norfolk.
Two years later, and after a commitment to give up switch-hitting and only bat left-handed, Mullins has developed into a triple threat–a batter who can hit for average and power, a runner who can wreak havoc on the base paths, and an elite defender. On the season, he hit .291 with 30 home runs and 59 RBI, swiping 30 bags in the process.
Among American League outfielders, Mullins’ .878 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) ranked third and his 30 steals tied Myles Straw of the Cleveland Indians for first place.READ MORE: Health Officials Urge Vaccination & Boosters As COVID-19 Rate Rises, Omicron Arrives In Maryland
Mullins is the first Oriole to win the Silver Slugger Award since Mark Trumbo, who in 2016 hit 47 home runs and 108 RBI.
Since 1980, bat maker Louisville Slugger has given the award to the best offensive players at each position in both the American and National leagues. Managers and coaches from all 30 ballclubs vote on the winners.
The World Series champion Atlanta Braves had four winners: first baseman Freddie Freeman, second baseman Ozzie Albies, third baseman Austin Riley and pitcher Max Fried.MORE NEWS: Maryland Has Three Confirmed Cases Of The Omicron Variant Of COVID-19, Hogan Says
All the winners were announced during a one-hour special on MLB Network.