If you trust STATS, it’s outfielder Cedric Mullins at 1.4. If you claim that you predicted it back in March, well, no one believes you.
If you can explain why FanGraphs.com gave Mullins a 0.6 WAR and Baseball-Reference.com gave him a 0.4, I’ll try to stay awake. Eyes wide open but likely to roll.
Mullins recorded five Outs Above Average this season, tied for second-most in the majors by an outfielder per Statcast. His 95 percent success rate ranked third.
Still eluding shock mode? I’ll keep trying.
I’m stunned that Mullins’ leadoff home run against Yankees right-hander Michael King in the first game of a Sept. 4 doubleheader at Camden Yards was the longest by an Orioles batter this season at 427 feet, according to Statcast.
(The same day that Anthony Santander strained his oblique and was done for the season.)
Mullins led the majors with nine bunt hits. He led the Orioles with seven stolen bases. That guy doesn’t usually hit tape-measure blasts.
Ryan Mountcastle’s first two major league home runs, coming in an Aug. 30 game in Buffalo, traveled a combined distance of 830 feet. The longest was 420, though it almost took out a car on the freeway.
Mullins was batting from the left side of the plate, where he registered a .305 average (32-for-105) compared to .171 (6-for-35) from the right side. He hit .471 (8-for-17) in the first inning.
Renato Núñez led the Orioles with 12 home runs, one more than Santander. Mullins hit three in 140 at-bats.
His muscle flexing ranked him first.
MLB.com ran a list earlier this month of each team’s longest home run since the Statcast era.
Keon Broxton ranks first among Orioles with a 474-foot shot off the Rockies’ Jeff Hoffman on May 24, 2019 in Colorado - the location perhaps earning him an asterisk. On the first pitch thrown to him after the trade with the Mets that cost the Orioles $500,000 in international bonus pool money.
Broxton was playing center field after the Orioles optioned Mullins. Baseball’s crazy little coincidences.
So Broxton may seem like an unlikely winner in the Orioles’ home run derby, but he also hit the longest home run ever measured at Busch Stadium in St. Louis back in 2017 while playing for the Brewers - a 489-foot shot to left field off Michael Wacha.
At least, according to multiple reports.
The MLB.com list has Travis Shaw first among Brewers with a 478-foot homer earlier in the same season.
Broxton didn’t last long with the Orioles, who designated him for assignment on July 21, 2019 while he was batting .204/.261/.350 (21-for-103) with three doubles, four home runs, nine RBIs and 49 strikeouts in 112 plate appearances over 37 games.
Mullins was back in center field this summer. And swinging the bat as if he intended to stay there.