© Sarah Morris, 2020
Since 2018, Max Muncy has been an offensive force for the Los Angeles Dodgers. When the Dodgers signed Muncy, he was considering quitting baseball and returning to Baylor University to complete his degree.
Muncy debuted with the Oakland Athletics in 2015. With the Athletics, he did not have a good batting average or much power, and Muncy’s infield defense was a liability. Not surprisingly, the Athletics released Muncy during 2017.
A few weeks after the Athletics released Muncy, former Dodger general manager Farhan Zaidi signed him to a minor league contract and sent to Triple-A at Oklahoma City. In 109 games, he had a .309 batting average with 12 home runs and 44 RBI.
Since the Dodgers had injuries in 2018, namely to both Justin Turner and Corey Seager, causing many offensive shortcomings, the Dodgers promoted Muncy to Los Angeles in April 2018. Immediately, his offensive production helped his new team to go to the 2018 postseason. His 35 home runs were the fifth most in the National League. He set a franchise record when he hit 20th home run in his 183rd at-bat. Although Muncy had a difficult time during the 2018 NLDS and NLCS, he hit a famous 18th-inning game-winning home run in Game 3 during the 2018 World Series against the Boston Red Sox, the only game that the Dodgers won in the 2018 World Series.
In 2019, Muncy had an everyday role, contributing regularly to the Dodger offense. Despite having a broken wrist, Muncy played in 142 games. For the second consecutive year, Muncy had 35 home runs, including the one that landed in the bay at San Francisco and Muncy told the Giants’ left-hander Madison Bumgarner “to get it out of the ocean!” While Muncy had a reasonably low batting average of .251, his great eye for the strike zone enabled him to have a .374 on-base percentage. He had a career-high with 98 RBI. He played in the 2019 All-Star Game and received two votes for the National League MVP.
Before the 2020 spring training, Dodger President Andrew Friedman signed Muncy to a three-year $26 million with an option for the fourth year at $13 million. During spring training, a sore wrist bothered him. At the point when baseball stopped because of COVID-19, Muncy regained his powerful batting stroke.
In the second game during summer camp, his teammate Alex Wood hit and broke Muncy’s left ring finger. Although Muncy played in 58 games during the abbreviated 2020 season, his batting average of .192 with 12 home runs and 27 RBI. Still, his good eye for the strike zone helped his team to dominate its opponents and win a world championship. During the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves, Muncy had a grand slam.
If Muncy can remain healthy, he can contribute greatly to the Dodger welfare. Muncy gives his team a reliable first or second baseman.
© Sarah Morris, 2020