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Cedric Mullins Opens Eyes



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Cedric Mullins (Photo by Rodger Wood)[/caption]

BALTIMORE—The Orioles envision Cedric Mullins as a player who could be their center fielder of the future. It’s just a matter of when it happens.

Mullins has made the jump from low Class A Delmarva to Double-A Bowie, and he had made a soft landing. He hit .455 (20-for-44) with five doubles, a triple, three home runs, eight RBIs, 15 runs, three walks and three stolen bases in his first 10 games to claim Eastern League player-of-the-week honors.

The Orioles kept summoning the 22-year-old Mullins from minor league camp during spring training because they were so intrigued by his skill set. They counted seven home runs from him in various settings, including the Grapefruit League and various minor league spring training contests.

"I may have surprised them with my power,” said Mullins, a 13th-round pick out of Campbell in 2015. "Maybe just a little bit.

"They definitely want me to continue to learn a true leadoff approach, and that’s what I’m basically getting a feel for. But definitely being able to show in certain situations that I can put some pop into (the ball) probably opened their eyes.”

The Orioles already were attentive after Mullins batted .273/.321/.464 last season with 37 doubles, 10 triples and 14 home runs in 124 games at Delmarva. His emergence made it easier for the Orioles to return speedy Rule 5 draft pick Aneury Tavarez to the Red Sox.

"There’s a couple signs that tell us that Mullins is a natural player,” president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. "He’s one of five players (in the minors) who had double figures in doubles, triples, homers and stolen bases last year. So that’s one of them.

"But the fact that he can come into big league camp uninvited and hit like (he did) in spring training this year, that’s pretty impressive. Plus, he’s probably our fastest runner.”

BIRD SEED

The Orioles traded two international bonus slots valued at $1,083,300 to acquire righthanded relievers Damien Magnifico (from the Brewers) and Paul Fry (Mariners).

To make room on the 40-man roster for the two relievers, the Orioles designated righthanders Parker Bridwell and Jason Garcia for assignment. They sold Bridwell to the Angels and outrighted Garcia, a Rule 5 draft pick in 2014, to Bowie.

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2018 Baltimore Orioles Top 10 Prospects

The top 10 prospects in the Baltimore Orioles' farm system.

— Roch Kubatko covers the Orioles for MASNSports.com

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