After unexpectedly becoming a vital member of the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup last year, Max Muncy entered the 2019 season looking to prove his breakout performance wasn’t a fluke.
Despite struggling in Spring Training, Muncy found success early on during the regular season, hitting a collective .247/.345/.462 with nine extra-base hits and 17 RBI between March and April.
An all-around impressive first half culminated with Muncy being selected to his first career All-Star Game. He posted a stellar .897 on-base plus slugging with 22 home runs and 60 RBI across 358 plate appearances (89 games).
The 29-year-old picked up where he left off, improving his on-base percentage while continuing to provide power at any spot in the lineup during the second half of the season.
In 141 overall games, Muncy hit .251/.374/.515 with 22 doubles, one triple, 35 home runs and 98 RBI across 589 plate appearances.
He accumulated a career-best 5.7 WAR (Baseball-Reference) and placed in the top-15 in National League MVP voting for a second consecutive season.
Despite the Dodgers’ overall struggles against the Washington Nationals’ pitching staff in the NL Division Series, Muncy was one of the few bright spots, collecting five hits in 19 at-bats — three of which were home runs. He also drove in seven RBI while drawing more walks (four) than strikeouts (two).
In addition to his bat, Muncy provided value on the field, appearing at three different positions over the course of the 2019 season. He arguably enjoyed his finest work at first base, though similarly impressed at both second and third base as well.
On Aug. 4 against the San Diego Padres, Muncy enjoyed a 4-for-5 showing at the plate, recording two doubles and one home run with three RBI in the Dodgers’ 11-10 win.
Emerging as an All-Star caliber, two-way player, Muncy heads into the 2020 season with another large workload ahead of him. He currently projects as the Dodgers’ starting first baseman, but that could change depending on potential trades still to come this offseason.
If L.A. acquires an impact infielder such as Francisco Lindor or Kris Bryant, Justin Turner figures to shift to first base, which in turn would push Muncy to second.
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