One of the more consistent players for the Shorebirds, both offensively and defensively this season is Cedric Mullins. Heading into action on July 26, Mullins leads the team in doubles (22) and stolen bases (23). Last Thursday, he also made a case for leading the team in spectacular defensive plays.
Pencek: Let’s talk about the catch you made last week.
Mullins: I was telling myself to get on my horse because it was hit pretty well. I got to a certain point and I told myself to jump and whatever happens happens and I made the catch.
Pencek: Was that the best catch you ever had in your career?
Mullins: I’ve had some pretty good ones but that one is definitely up there.
Pencek: As for your season, it seems like whenever there is something positive going on for the Shorebirds, you are in the middle of it. How do you assess your game this season?
Mullins: I see myself as a type of catalyst. Not everybody is going to be on their game including myself. I just try to play hard and try to get something going with the lead-off bat and playing centerfield.
Pencek: Your home run numbers are up from 2015 (8 vs. 2). Anything that has led to an increase in the pop?
Mullins: I have not focused on that. I just try to keep my swing consistent and if I happen to run into a pitch it might go. That has been the case this season.
Pencek: What is the biggest difference between short season New York Penn League where you played last year and your first full season in A ball?
Mullins: Definitely the amount of games you have to play, it’s double the number. Also trying to keep your body in shape for that. That was my focus in the off-season knowing that I was coming to Delmarva. I wanted to make sure my legs and my physical condition were ready to handle a full season.
Pencek: You are the Shorebirds leadoff batter. What do you think makes a good leadoff batter?
Mullins: The first at bat is the biggest at bat that you will have as a leadoff hitter. Seeing pitches and getting a feel for what the guy has on the mound helps the other guys in our lineup. They can get an idea of what they might see based on what I see in the first at bat.
Pencek: Do you feel have to work the count so they can see those pitches?
Mullins: It depends. If my swing feels good that day I will go ahead and take my hacks during the first two or three pitches. If they guy has pretty good stuff, I might want to give my team an opportunity to see what he has, including myself.
Pencek: When you watch a pitcher warm-up is there anything you pick up from those pitches?
Mullins: It is not the easiest thing, but it does give you the timing on the fastball. You don’t want to be late on the fastball. On the side when I am getting ready to hit that is all I am doing is timing the fastball.