Cedric Mullins is Eastern League Player of Week (plus other notes)

He’s off to a great start on the O’s farm and today Bowie Baysox outfielder Cedric Mullins was named the Player of the Week in the Double-A Eastern League.

Mullins has hit safely in all 10 games to start the season, batting .455/.489/.818 with five doubles, a triple, three homers and eight RBIs. His sizzling hot bat was going to eventually slow a bit and it did earlier last week. But even then he had one hit in each of three straight games.

Mullins ranks first in the Eastern League in hits (20), runs (15), extra-base hits (9) and total bases (36). He is tied for second in batting average, second in slugging and third in doubles.

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Meanwhile, if you think the Orioles’ Trey Mancini has been on a nice batting run at the plate - and he sure has - there is a young outfielder on the farm who just had a pretty impressive four-game series.

The Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds played the last four games against Hagerstown and scored 24 runs in splitting the series.

Jake Ring, a lefty hitter drafted in round 31 out of Missouri last June, produced four straight multi-hit games and twice had four-hit games.

In that series, the 22-year-old Ring went 12-for-17 (.706) with six doubles, two triples, five runs and eight RBIs. He entered the series batting .190 and is now hitting .421 which ranks fifth best in the South Atlantic League and is third-best among Orioles’ farmhands. He leads the Sally League in slugging (.842), RBIs (13), extra-base hits (11) and total bases (32).

For his efforts, Ring today was named Player of the Week in the South Atlantic League for the period from the start of year April 6 through Sunday.

After the draft last year Ring played in 51 games in the Gulf Coast League and three games with Delmarva, batting .271/.354/.331. Since he was taken well down in the draft, Baseball America did have a scouting report on him but it was a very brief one, which essentially said he is a center fielder with plus speed and some gap-to-gap power. Let’s see if he can build on his fast start and stay on the radar.

Orioles minor league batting average leaders:
.455 - Cedric Mullins, Bowie
.425 - Jomar Reyes, Frederick
.421 - Jake Ring, Delmarva
.366 - Aderlin Rodriguez, Bowie
.357 - Drew Dosch, Bowie

Orioles minor league ERA leaders:
0.84 - Zach Muckinhirn, Delmarva
1.00 - Ofelky Peralta, Frederick
1.13 - Lucas Long, Bowie
1.13 - Ryan Meisinger, Bowie
1.64 - Alex Wells, Delmarva

After a 1-7 start, the Triple-A Norfolk Tides swept a three-game weekend series against Charlotte. Sunday’s win came via Johnny Giavotella’s walk-off, two-run triple. Norfolk scored three in the ninth to win 5-4. Giavotella has a seven-game hitting streak.

The Tides’ Robert Andino hit a solo homer in that contest that came against Charlotte starter Reynaldo Lopez. He is ranked as the No. 31 prospect in the sport by Baseball America. Right-hander Damien Magnifico, who was acquired by the Orioles via a trade with Milwaukee on Thursday, allowed a run on two hits over one inning in his Norfolk debut.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter often mentions minor league players during his pregame updates with reporters and he did again Sunday at Rogers Centre. He mentioned Bowie left-hander Tanner Scott, who is ranked as the club’s No. 11 propect by Baseball America.

Scott is a reliever that the organization is using this year to make three-inning starts in an effort to help him improve his command with a more structured pitching routine that includes an in-between outings bullpen session that relievers don’t often get.

Scott pitched three scoreless and hitless innings Saturday night with two walks and four strikeouts for the Baysox.

“Tanner Scott pitched well last night,” Showalter said Sunday in the visitor’s dugout in Toronto. “I’ll tell you, what’s really come on is that slider. If he gets that pitch, things could come together quickly for him.”

I asked Showalter if Scott needs more to improve the command or the quality of his slider to see it come together. Showalter knows as a pitcher with a fastball that can touch 100 mph that Scott does not need great command on his slider for it to be effective.

“Both. No, I shouldn’t say quality, it’s a good one,” Showalter said. “The quality of it is not the issue. Just making them honor it. They have to cheat so much on the fastball, if you don’t read the spin early (on a slider), you are going to commit and swing at a lot of them that probably aren’t strikes.”

Norfolk is 4-7 right now, Double-A Bowie is 6-4, Single-A Frederick is 4-7 and Delmarva is 4-7. Bowie’s team batting average is .313 and the Baysox have scored 62 runs with 12 homers in 10 games. Delmarva has scored 62 runs in 11 games.

The O’s four full-season clubs have high team ERAs at this early point on with Delmarva at 4.47, Bowie at 4.68, Norfolk at 5.34 and Frederick at 6.44.

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