30 HR-30 SB Follow Up Seasons

Cedric Mullins was one of the best breakouts of 2021 with a 30 HR/30 SB season that came out of nowhere. But what comes next? There have been 11 seasons of at least 30/30 since 2011 featuring 10 players and Ryan Braun doing it back-to-back in 2011-12. We actually saw four in 2011 and then two in 2012 before a drought that José Ramírez and Mookie Betts ended in 2018.

Here are all 11:

30/30 Seasons Since 2011
Player Year Age Tm PA HR SB R RBI BA OBP SLG OPS
Ian Kinsler 2011 29 TEX 723 32 30 121 77 0.255 0.355 0.477 0.832
Jacoby Ellsbury 2011 27 BOS 732 32 39 119 105 0.321 0.376 0.552 0.928
Matt Kemp 2011 26 LAD 689 39 40 115 126 0.324 0.399 0.586 0.986
Ryan Braun 2011 27 MIL 629 33 33 109 111 0.332 0.397 0.597 0.994
Mike Trout 2012 20 LAA 639 30 49 129 83 0.326 0.399 0.564 0.963
Ryan Braun 2012 28 MIL 677 41 30 108 112 0.319 0.391 0.595 0.987
José Ramírez 2018 25 CLE 698 39 34 110 105 0.270 0.387 0.552 0.939
Mookie Betts 2018 25 BOS 614 32 30 129 80 0.346 0.438 0.640 1.078
Christian Yelich 2019 27 MIL 580 44 30 100 97 0.329 0.429 0.671 1.100
Ronald Acuña Jr. 2019 21 ATL 715 41 37 127 101 0.280 0.365 0.518 0.883
Cedric Mullins 2021 26 BAL 675 30 30 91 59 0.291 0.360 0.518 0.878

I wanted to look at what these players did before and after their magical season to see if it might help us with our Mullins projection.

YEAR BEFORE

I’m just taking the dirty averages here so the samples can definitely be skewed by the fact that Mike Trout’s year before was a 40-game debut sample or that Jacoby Ellsbury’s was an injury-riddled 18-game sample. Where I did do a little adjustment is with the 2020 season. I did prorate that out to 500 PA since it was a 60-game maximum sample. This is the case for Mullins’ year before and the year after of Ronald Acuña Jr. and Christian Yelich. The bulk of our group was essentially established 20/20 guys, though.

All told, they averaged 20 HR, 18 SB, and 118 wRC+ the year before their 30/30 season with 7 of the 10 sitting at a 106 wRC+ or better. Mullins (95), Trout (87), and Ellsbury (26) were the ones who missed the mark.

Trout was obviously an uber-prospect who was expected to have 30/30-type seasons, but Ellsbury and Mullins were both huge surprises. Ellsbury missed most of 2010 with injury, but he had led baseball with 70 SBs the year before and led the American League with 50 in 2008. He had 20 total HR in 1513 career PA before the major power surge and he never really showed it again. It is a rather Brady Anderson-esque season. Mullins played sporadically across 2018-20, totaling 7 HR and 10 SB in 418 PA. The speed was evident, but becoming a 30-home run hitter was a complete surprise… even to Justin Mason!

YEAR AFTER

We don’t have a Mullins follow up so there are only 10 data points in this sample. Again, I prorated the Acuña and Yelich numbers for 500 PA because of the shortened 2020.

The group averaged 23 HR, 17 SB, and 131 wRC+ in their 30/30 follow-ups. If I remove the proration of Acuña and Yelich’s 2020 follow-up, the averages drop to 20 HR and 15 SB.

Ellsbury was the only one to fall short of a 100 wRC+ as he suffered another injury-shortened season, playing just 74 games. Braun played just 61 games in the follow up to his second straight 30/30 season, though he was dominating again with a 133 wRC+ and 24/21 pace. Five guys were what I would call elite, posting a 135 wRC+ or better and though Ramirez had just a 108 wRC+, his 23/24 campaign wasn’t too bad.

MULLINS IN 2022

So, what’s next for Ced the Entertainer?

Steamer has him down for 25 HR, 27 SB, and a 108 wRC+ or essentially Ramirez’s follow-up. That won’t exactly be worth the 24th overall pick, but it wouldn’t be anything close to a bust, either. I won’t fault anyone who is mostly out on Mullins simply due to the price increase and the fact that you are buying high off a career year, but I do think the non-injury bust potential is pretty low here.

He has premium speed, average pop, great defense, and a firm role in Baltimore’s outfield and atop their lineup (at least to start the season, he could obviously be moved down if he played poorly). He was the 18th-ranked player in 2021 so he basically needs to repeat to fully earn his draft price, but he has a high probability to at least deliver a 20/20 follow-up while also having the talent to put up some differently shaped seasons that would still be excellent such as something with 15-20 HR but 40-50 SB, a .275+ AVG, and over 100 runs.





Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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balancedman178
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balancedman178

Where is everyone? This is great stuff.

LightenUpFG
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I wonder if people see the headline and intro text and say to themselves “Here comes another guy trying to sell us Cedric Mullins…” and don’t bother clicking on the article. Kinsler, Ellsbury and Kemp in their heydays, and then the usual suspects, show that Mullins is in good enough company to warrant seriously considering in 2022 drafts.