Seemingly, Max Muncy Has Returned to His 2018 Form

max-muncy

As it took a while for Max Muncy to finally settle into his 2019 campaign, many of his numbers are now on track to exceed some of the impressive statistics he registered when he surprised the baseball world last season.

In Friday night’s opener against the Phillies, Muncy’s bat was key in the Dodgers‘ 6-3 victory, as he went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and two runs scored. He has now homered in two of his last three games and has gone 13-for-41 over his last 10 games with three homers, 12 runs scored and six RBI.

Admittedly, I was one of those people who threw around Muncy’s name as trade bait over the winter, speculating that the 28 year old would regress this season. Indeed, his start was painstakingly slow, but while his power numbers might not be what they were last year, he’s becoming a more versatile hitter, which could be more valuable to the team in the long run.

Over his first 27 games of 2019, Muncy hit just .218/.323/.462, a slash line that suggested that his 2018 numbers might have been anomalies in a season when he was swinging through the roof. However, in his last 30 games, he has hit .315/.401/.568, indicating a huge improvement. His .969 OPS over those last 30 games is right on line with his .972 mark from last season.

More importantly, Muncy has settled nicely into the two-hole while removing the pressure from Corey Seager, who is still searching for his groove after missing most of last year with UCL surgery. As it stands now, Muncy is hitting .275 through the first 57 games of the season after posting a .263 mark last year. Furthermore, he has already garnered 29 walks, suggesting that he’ll blow right by the 79 bases on balls he collected last season.

And, while his slugging percentage is undeniably down a few ticks, he has hit 12 long balls already, which puts him on pace with the 35 he slugged in 2018.

Muncy joins Cody Bellinger (20 HR) and Joc Pederson (17 HR) as one of the club’s most legitimate power threats. The trio has accounted for 49 total long balls, which is more than half of the team’s tally of 92. With all three players normally hitting in the first four spots of the lineup, the top of the batting order has undeniably become one of the most potent in baseball—at least against righty pitching.

If you’re a follower of WAR, Muncy has accumulated a 2.1 mark so far this year after posting a 4.2 mark in 2018—a number he could easily surpass even before the end of August, especially when considering his current rate of production.

Perhaps more importantly, he’s hitting .258/.324/.532 against lefty pitching this season, showing that he’s able to contribute as an everyday player regardless of the opposing pitcher.

Of course, there are still a few blemishes in his game when it comes to defense, but the fact that he can move around the infield, coupled with his proven offensive prowess, supersedes the handful of balls he’s kicked so far this season. Still, as far as errors go, he has only three this year after posting 13 for the entirety of 2018.

Obviously, Max will go through his spells of both hot and cold streaks during the remainder of the season, but his latest success surely indicates that his 2018 campaign was certainly not a fluke in the least.

 

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31 thoughts on “Seemingly, Max Muncy Has Returned to His 2018 Form

  1. I have to admit that I did not think Muncy could be that kind of hitter again. The one thing that has not changed about the guy is his approach at the plate. He rarely chases bad pitches. That was his formula last year, and it is the same this year. When he connects, it is usually gone. His fielding has improved and I did not think he could pull that off either, so I am eating some crow here. But that’s ok. The guy is getting the job done and looking very comfortable doing it. Beatty has also been impressive. He does not look one bit over matched at the plate, and he is steady in the field. He even looked competent out in left.

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  2. Phillies said to be close to obtaining Jay Bruce from the Mariners. Their outfield in flux with Herrera on administrative leave due to his domestic abuse case. This crap has got to cease.

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  3. Mariners look to be sellers at this point. Most of their regulars are available. Bruce to Philly could just be the tip of the iceberg.

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  4. Referring to a person on our team as “trade bait” is obnoxiously insensitive. They are not commodities for you to fling around like pieces of meat. Beyond that, if you were willing to toss aside a tremendous discovery like Max Muncy, it makes me think you are somewhat clueless. How often do you find a 35 home run, .973 OPS player for next to nothing? Even with a minor regression, we would have regretted trading him in my view. Sorry for the seemingly harsh response, but your statements were provocative to me.

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    1. Wow guy settle down it’s a commonly used term in baseball. Maybe not be sch a snowflake next time. Since when did we get so offended so easily in this country? It’s all going to hell. But Dennis is the last guy that would ever intentionally put someone down so maybe you should go be offended about global warming or something.

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  5. Sorry, but I don’t like the term and I stand by what I said about the idea of trading Muncy. Clearly, you have the intellect of a child to start calling people names. I appreciate Dennis’ articles, but I obviously don’t know his “intentions” like you do. You must be his best buddy.

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  6. Settle down children, let’s talk,about the continuing problem with the Dodgers and their inability to hit lefties. And the last two are really bad lefties at that!

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  7. Ok so the question has to be asked I think. What do they do when Barnes is ready to go? Can you really send Smith down? It would be hard for me to after the way he’s handled the promotion.

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    1. In theory, they could keep Smith and send Beaty down, but I honestly feel that Beaty is more valuable at this point. They definitely need 8 guys in the pen, so there’s no room there. Gonna be interesting to see who sacrifices playing time if/when Pollock comes back.

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  8. I’m as happy as you guys, to see smith doing so well, but when Barnes is ready to come back, smith, sadly will be sent back down. I’m with you Dennis, I’ve been thinking about what’s going to happen when pollock is ready to come back, pollock can be real good when he’s healthy, but how in the heck do you sit pederson, or verdugo?

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    1. Thanks Keith. It is a pic from The Shootist. His last film. Hard to have a favorite, but you came close to my top 2 which would be The Searchers and The Quiet Man. I was at the game tonight and the crowd went totally bonkers for Smith. He will be a factor down the road, but both he and Beatty are just holding down spots until Pollock gets back and Barnes is healthy again. Harper was booed loudly every time he came to the plate.

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  9. Marion Morrison? Not my kind of guy. Racist homophobic right wing icon who played himself in every movie he ever made and never served his country. I’m more of a Paul Newman fan. Lifelong progressive who served in WWII. He was 19th on Richard Nixon’s “Enemies List” which Newman claimed was his greatest accomplishment.

    I agree that Barnes is the starting catcher and Smith goes back down. Not sure how the outfield will be played but we look better without Pollock. Our best outfield has 3 left handers in it.

    Bullpen. The pitch to Harper was another mistake and Harper knew what to do with it. I say again, high and tight low and away. Urias knows better, he just needs to do better.

    Good win against a good club.

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    1. Never said the Duke was a great actor. And he had a perfectly good reason for not serving. Married with four kids and in his mid 30’s. Even with that he was more than willing to go and his draft status was not changed until late 44. Playing himself was what the fans wanted and there never was a more patriotic guy in Hollywood. Being racist was part of the norm in those days. Do not get me wrong, it was not the right way to be but that was America at that point in history. Newman was an excellent actor on the other hand, but not nearly as prolific and definitely not the hero type, which is what the country needed during the war. My favorite actor is Spencer Tracy. No one these days comes close to any of those guys.

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  10. Luckily Pollock hits right handed so that solves some of the problem when he gets back. It will be the dog days of summer when he returns and where the season starts to be a grind so I don’t see a problem. You of course play him against lefties sitting Joc and from there rotate Bellinger and Verdugo for a day of rest each week giving Pollock plenty of playing time.

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  11. I still say give Joc a first baseman’s glove and start practicing. When Pollock comes back Kiki and Taylor don’t start and dont deserve to. Muncy goes to second. I still say Pollock will deliver and if he does that lineup will be scary good!

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    1. Actually they did experiment with that a couple of years ago before Belli arrived. Idea was to give Gonzo some extra down time. Joc did not feel comfortable over there. Right now they have 5 guys fully capable of handling 1st base, so why would they even consider doing that? The outfield, when you really look at it is a little thin without Pollock.

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  12. There’s no problem or need to move Joc to 1B. When Pollock comes back he can be the 4th OF which is really a starting position when you consider Joc always sits versus lefties. Chris Taylor stands to lose the most of Pollock returning if anything.

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