Cedric Mullins II made his major league debut with the Baltimore Orioles on August tenth of this year. A small, speedy type of ballplayer, Mullins has been adequate throughout the minor leagues. With the Orioles future in flux, Mullins should see plenty of opportunity moving forward.
From a fantasy standpoint, I understand why we need to be excited about Mullins. I’ve also witnessed one too many time a player like Mullins falling far from draft day expectations. The speed is his carrying tool. I’m not one of those rabbit haters and will certainly draft a speed only guy if the timing and context are right.
Mullins has shown a strong ability in the minor leagues to successfully steal bases. Of course, Mullins was thrown out 3 of his 5 attempts in the big leagues, but I’m not ready to draw any meaningful conclusions from those 5 attempts.
Instead, I’m much more worried about two factors when it comes to Mullins potentially busting next season.
A weak bat and team context.
By weak bat, I simply mean he’s the type of player who could easily hit .220 with essentially zero pop and lose playing time because of it. Mullins’ ISO has been dropping as he’s climbed into the high minors and major leagues. I wouldn’t be shocked given his frame if pitchers are able to blow Mullins away, at least to begin the year.
After hitting in the bottom third of the lineup for six games the Orioles moved Mullins to leadoff for the remainder of the season. The run and RBI totals weren’t complete disasters given the Orioles overall performance, however, banking on continued success in categories that require run scoring with a team as poor as the Orioles is a vice I’d rather not crush my nuts with.
Mullins should be projected to steal around 30 bases and that is valuable in today’s fantasy environment. The #2EarlyMocks had Mullins being selected around pick 260 (in a few leagues). A 17th round pick in a 15-team mixed league is a fair price for the speed asset Mullins offers. I’d strongly recommend that Mullins is acquired as a speed insurance piece and not as a needed contributor for your team.