With not much going on in the hot stove world of baseball yet, and it being the end of a decade, a lot of other Dodgers blogs and sites are doing best of the 2010’s, or making lists of their favorite players of the last decade.
Regular readers of the site will know that hands-down, my favorite player is Clayton Kershaw. But, as I’ve tweeted more than once on Twitter, Max Muncy is quickly becoming my second-favorite player on the current Dodgers team.
Looking back over some of my other all-time favorite Dodgers, there seems to be a trend. A guy that didn’t spend his whole career with the Dodgers might be a little under the radar, but he definitely had the hustle and a little something extra. Casey Blake, Brett Butler, Mickey Hatcher all come to mind.￼￼ Justin Turner could certainly fit this mold, but over the last two years of watching Muncy, even if he was traded tomorrow, he’s solidified a spot on my list of all-time favorite Dodgers.
Muncy slowly worked his way on to the big league team, betting on himself even though it meant spending the whole 2017 season in the minor leagues after playing in the majors in Oakland. He has some of the biggest home runs in recent memory and in Dodgers history. Dodger fans will never forget his 18th inning, walkoff history-making home run in Game 3 of the 2018 World Series. Nor might they forget Muncy telling Madison Bumgarner to “Go get it out of the ocean!”, referring to a ball he had sent into the San Francisco Bay when MadBum took exception to his slow home run trot.
Muncy’s signature drop of the bat has turned me from a bat flip enthusiast into a bat drop enthusiast.
￼Muncy might’ve even won himself a Silver Slugger award at second base if he would have played more there, aside from the outstanding hitting of Ozzie Albies from Atlanta. Max had the most home runs and RBI among second basemen, but Albies had 60 more hits. Albies also had almost 150 more AB than Muncy.
But, maybe the best thing about the left-handed hitting Muncy is his versatility. During the season, Muncy played second, first and third base. He played six games in the outfield in 2018. Third base is not his best spot, having as many errors there in half as many games as he did playing second. Still, he is able to fill in at the hot corner when needed and perform satisfactorily.
Going into the 2020 season, Muncy may see less time at second base if Gavin Lux has anything to say about it. The young second baseman came up from Triple-A Oklahoma City late in the season and made the case to be on the postseason roster. If Lux continues to impress at second, Muncy will most likely find himself logging most of his innings at first base.
This isn’t necessarily the worst case scenario. Less wear and tear on Max’s body, keeping those home run counts up, and hopefully giving Dodger fans many more memories in the future.