In Max Muncy’s first two seasons with the Dodgers, he hit 35 home runs, drew a lot of walks, and had clutch hits. Last season was a bad year for Muncy, no doubt about that. Yet his strikeout and walk percentages were identical to the previous two years. So, what happened? And should we be concerned about Max Muncy?
Last year his exit velocity, hard-hit rate, barrel percentage, strikeout rate, and defense were all in the bottom half which isn’t great. Now to be fair, he did fracture his ring finger by being hit by a pitch at Summer Camp. To his credit, he has stated multiple times that it’s not an excuse. He felt he just played poorly. But he also mentioned the injury gave him a mental block.
This isn’t his first fracture injury, either. At the end of August in 2019, he had a small wrist fracture which caused him to miss a few weeks. He returned middle of September and hit .222 in that month – expected coming off an injury. He also struck out 15 times in those twelve games and didn’t walk once. In the short postseason against the Nationals, he did hit .263 with three home runs and seven RBIs. Much more accustomed to what fans are used to seeing from Muncy.
In the short Spring Training in 2020, Muncy struggled. He hit .219 while striking out quite a bit. Two things he did do well was walk and hit for power, no surprise. Then the shutdown came, followed by the injury during the Summer Camp and the 60-game struggle. However, he had a better post-season, hitting around .250 and drawing an absurd amount of walks. To me, that’s a good sign we might get back the Muncy from his first two Dodger seasons.
It’s only been a week worth of Spring games, but so far he looks like the Muncy from the 2020 season. He’s not making hard contact and swinging through pitches in the zone. Is he still thinking about his last two injuries? Is it another mental thing? Should we be concerned about Max Muncy or is it too early to form an opinion? Or, is this just a trend he’s currently on and it’s what to expect from him for now?
Muncy is an integral part of this team, so getting him right is of the utmost importance. It’s been too much inconsistency and up and downs. As fans, let’s hope whatever that’s plaguing him gets fixed and he returns to that Muncy from 2018 and until late August of 2019.
Let me know your thoughts.
For a look at Max Muncy’s first week of Spring Training, click here.