Why Cedric Mullins Can Exceed Expectations in 2022

In 2021, Baltimore Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullins decided to abandon being a switch hitter, focusing exclusively on batting from the left side

Cedric Mullins finished ninth in voting for the American League Most Valuable Player award in 2021. That’s incredible considering where he was during the three previous seasons, struggling as a switch hitter. The role of heir apparent to Adam Jones in centerfield that Baltimore Orioles fans hoped for from Mullins seemed like an afterthought. Then, Mullins decided to focus solely on hitting from the left side of the plate and everything seemed to click for him in 2021.

Mullins played in 159 of 162 games, batting .291 with 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases. He’s the first Baltimore Orioles player to ever reach the 30-30 plateau. There was a stretch during the season where Mullins reached base in 11 consecutive plate appearances while hitting safely in nine-straight at-bats, which nearly tied the Orioles record set by Ken Singleton in 1981.

With another offseason to work on his craft and focus even more on batting left-handed, it’s safe to say that Mullins will have even better numbers in 2022. I’m not saying another 30-30 season is in the bag, but his average, doubles, stolen bases, and runs batted in could all see an increase. He could get 30 home runs again this season since he doesn’t have to worry about the left-field wall dimension changes at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. He normally goes to right-field and right-center field at OPACY.

Baseball-Reference projects Mullins to hit .269 with 21 homers and 21 stolen bases. You would think that another year of experience at age 27 and just getting into his prime will make him an even better player, not regress. Let’s just hope Mullins takes a look at Baseball-Reference and uses that as motivation to exceed their projections.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what Cedric Mullins will be able to do in 2022 with another offseason of left-handed-hitting work being done. Having Mullins hitting leadoff and setting the table for the rest of the Orioles lineup is going to be fun.