The Orioles announced Sept. 29 that outfielder Cedric Mullins has been voted the unanimous winner of the 2021 Louis M. Hatter Most Valuable Oriole Award by members of the local media who cover the team on a regular basis. He will be recognized for his accomplishments in an on-field ceremony prior to the Sept. 29 against the Boston Red Sox.
Mullins enters play Sept. 29 hitting .297/.367/.531 (173-for-582) with 36 doubles, five triples, 30 home runs, 89 runs scored, 59 RBI, 59 walks, 30 stolen bases, and 309 total bases. Mullins ranks second in the American League in stolen bases, fourth in hits, total bases, and fWAR (5.6), tied for sixth in extra-base hits (71), seventh in OPS (.897), and ninth in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and multi-hit games (46). His eight leadoff home runs are tied for the most in the majors and are the second-most in a single-season in Orioles history (since 1954). His 10 outs above average, according to Statcast, are tied for the fourth-most by a center fielder in the majors. This season, he is one of seven players in the majors, and one of two in the AL, to have a batting average of .295-or-above and a .895+ OPS.
Mullins has set career-highs in each major offensive category. He became the first player in Orioles history to record a 30 HR/30 SB season and the first center fielder in the majors to do so since Mike Trout in 2012. Mullins is the 12th player in Major League history to record at least 30 home runs, 35 doubles, five triples, and 30 steals in a season and the first since Mookie Betts in 2018.
Mullins and teammate Ryan Mountcastle (32 HR) both have hit at least 30 home runs this season, marking the 12th time in franchise history that multiple Orioles have hit at least 30 homers, and first since Trey Mancini (35 HR) and Renato Nunez (31 HR) in 2019. Mullins (26 years old) and Mountcastle (24 years old) also became the third pair of O’s hitters age 26-or-younger to hit 30+ homers in the same season, and first since 24-year-old Manny Machado (33 HR) and 25-year-old Jonathan Schoop (32 HR) did so in 2017. Mullins has recorded two five-hit games this season, becoming just the third player in Orioles history with multiple five-hit games in the same season and the only player in the majors this season to do so. He reached base safely in 11-straight plate appearances and recorded a hit in nine-straight at-bats from June 4-6. His 20-game hitting streak, from July 20-August 13, is the third-longest in the majors this season and the longest by an Oriole since 2012; tied for the 11th-longest in club history.
Mullins leads the Orioles in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, hits, doubles, triples, total bases, walks, and stolen bases. In the offseason, Mullins dropped switch-hitting and became exclusively a left-handed batter. He has slashed .280/.342/.459 with 21 extra-base hits against left-handed pitching this season. He has made 141 starts in center field (148 games), the second-most in the majors, and three starts as the designated hitter. Earlier this season he was named the Orioles Heart and Hustle Award winner for the first time in his career.
The Most Valuable Oriole Award is named in honor of the late Lou Hatter, a former sportswriter for The Baltimore Sun who covered the Orioles for 27 years. Balloting for the Most Valuable Oriole Award is conducted with voting on a 5-3-1 basis. Also receiving votes were Trey Mancini, John Means, Ryan Mountcastle, Anthony Santander and Ramon Urias.
— Baltimore Orioles press release
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