By Evan Raigrodski
Orioles outfield prospect Cedric Mullins hasn't made it to the big leagues yet, but he's already formed a relationship with Orioles center fielder Adam Jones.
Mullins, currently with the Double-A Bowie Baysox, said Jones has served as a mentor.
"Being around [Jones] is huge; we were locker mates during spring training," Mullins said during a
Glenn Clark Radio interview
April 11. "Just creating that comfort level with him, being able to talk to him, him taking me under his wing in terms of how the game is played, playing it correctly, playing it hard, and just being smart, continuously understanding situations. Being able to watch his approach on a daily basis was a great learning experience."
Mullins, 23, has climbed his way through the Orioles' farm system after being a 13th-round draft pick out of Campbell University in 2015.
Known as a speedster, Mullins has recorded 56 stolen bases during his minor league career, including 30 with Single-A Delmarva in 2016. Mullins said he learned the importance of hustling from Jones.
"Hustling balls out, just being a grinder, taking every day seriously, there's no days off," Mullins said. "The respect that he shows for the game on a daily basis, that's a thing a lot of people can look up to, including myself."
In seven games with Bowie this season, Mullins is batting .250, with a double, a triple and two home runs.
Mullins hasn't received his call up to the majors just yet, but when he does, he's hoping Jones will still be with the Orioles. The Orioles' center fielder is set to become a free agent after this season.
"You grow up watching guys like him and you pray for that opportunity to play with him," Mullins said. "That being the case it would be a surreal moment, being able to share the outfield with him, even the time during spring training, being out there with him, it was just very exciting. To have a more consistent basis on the playing time with him, that's a moment that's hard to describe."
Until his time comes, Mullins said he will continue to work on his game in the minors. After playing with short-season Class-A Aberdeen in 2015, Mullins moved up to Delmarva in 2016 and is currently in his second season with the Baysox.
"I'm very confident in what's been going on with spring training and during the season so far and also just very comfortable," Mullins said. "Creating that comfort level to come back to Bowie and just with an idea that, hey, you have a huge opportunity ahead of you all you have to do is stay relaxed and continue to do what you best, which is play my game."
For more from Mullins, listen to the full interview here: