Mancini, Mullins and Mountcastle are MLBPA award finalists

The Orioles have three finalists for the Major League Baseball Players Association’s Players Choice Awards, which were announced today. Cedric Mullins and Trey Mancini are finalists, along with Mitch Haniger of Seattle, for the American League Comeback Player Award. Ryan Mountcastle joins Randy Arozarena of Tampa Bay and Adolis García of Texas as finalists for the MLBPA’s Outstanding Rookie Award.

A year after missing the entire 2020 season after treatment and chemotherapy for cancer, Mancini played in 147 games, taking 616 plate appearances. He was second on the team to Mullins in both categories. He batted .255/.326/.432/.758 with 33 doubles, one triple, 21 homers and 71 RBIs.

Thumbnail image for Mancini-HR-Swing-TOR-White-Sidebar.jpgDuring the year, Mancini was also named the Orioles’ 2021 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award. In July, he took part in the 36th Home Run Derby and finished as the runner-up behind the New York Mets’ Pete Alonso.

Mullins became the first 30-30 player in the Orioles history, producing 30 or more homers and steals. He batted .291/.360/.518/.878 with 37 doubles, five triples, 30 homers, 30 steals and 59 RBIs. Mullins was named to his first All-Star team and made the start in center field as an injury replacement for Mike Trout. His rise to American League All-Star was a big one, as during the 2019 season he struggled with the Orioles and was later demoted to both Triple-A and Double-A, finishing the season playing for the Bowie Baysox in the Eastern League playoffs.

Mullins is the 12th player in major league history to record at least 30 home runs, 35 doubles, five triples, and 30 steals in a season, and the first since Mookie Betts in 2018. He was also named one of seven AL finalists along with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Aaron Judge, Shohei Ohtani, Matt Olson, Salvador Pérez and José Ramírez for the Hank Aaron Award. The award recognizes the most outstanding regular season offensive performer in each league since it was established in 1999.

Mullins was a unanimous winner of the 2021 Most Valuable Oriole Award, which is voted on by local media.

Mountcastle, 24, batted .255/.309/.487/.796 with 23 doubles, one triple, 33 homers and 89 RBIs over 144 games. He overcame a very slow start - batting .196 with a .515 OPS in April - to put up numbers which place him among the top contenders for the AL Rookie of the Year Award.

He set an O’s rookie record for single-season homers, along the way passing Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr. to get the top spot. His RBI total ranks third all-time among O’s rookies and he ranks third, behind Ripken and Murray, with 57 extra-base hits as a Baltimore rookie.

The award winners will be announced on Oct. 28 on ESPN. These awards are voted on by active major league players and 2021 marks the 30th year for the Players Choice Awards.

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