Orioles name Cedric Mullins minor league Player of the Year; Akin, Lowther split pitching honors

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullins, who last month became the first touted prospect to debut after the club’s July teardown heralded their rebuild, was named Friday as the organization’s Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year.

Mullins, 23, will be honored during an on-field ceremony Saturday at Camden Yards alongside left-handers Keegan Akin and Zac Lowther, the co-winners of the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year; Outfielder Zach Jarrett, winner of the Elrod Hendricks Minor League Community Service Award; Norfolk manager Ron Johnson, winner of the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award; and scout Rich Morales, who was named the Jim Russo Scout of the Year.

Mullins, a 13th-round draft pick in 2015, began the year at Double-A Bowie and hit .289 with 12 home runs and 29 doubles between there and Triple-A Norfolk before he made his major league debut in center field Aug. 10. Entering Friday, Mullins has hit .240 with three home runs in the majors.

Akin, 23, and Lowther, 22, were each models of consistency during the minor league season. Akin, a second-round pick in 2016, had a sub-3.00 ERA for most of the season before ending with a 3.29 ERA with 142 strikeouts and a 1.25 WHIP in 137 2/3 innings at Double-A Bowie.

Lowther, selected in the competitive balance round in the 2017 draft, dominated when he began the season at Low-A Delmarva with a 1.16 ERA in six starts before carrying that success to High-A Frederick, where he went 5-3 with a 2.53 ERA in the Carolina League. Between the two levels, his 2.02 ERA in 123 2/3 innings with a 0.96 WHIP was peerless.

Jarrett, the 23-year-old son of NASCAR legend Dale Jarrett, was a stalwart for the Shorebirds this year, batting .277 with 14 home runs while playing all three outfield positions. He also helped lead the team’s summer baseball camps, made library visits and was a constant ambassador for the South Atlantic League Community Service Award winners in Delmarva.

Johnson managed the Tides to the brink of a playoff appearance despite an unprecedented amount of disruption to his roster coming from the major league team this year. Norfolk finished 69-71, their best record since 2015.

Morales, who drafted and signed Mullins out of Campbell University, also saw a pair of his draftees in catcher Austin Wynns and right-hander Ryan Meisinger make their major league debuts this season.

The Orioles will also honor right-hander Dean Kremer, who was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the July trade for Manny Machado and led the minors with 178 strikeouts in 131 1/3 innings, and Adam Sparks, who won the Gulf Coast League Trainer of the Year award in his first season with the organization.

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