As more players turn to data-driven approaches, Driveline Baseball has grown in popularity over the years. The training academy uses science and technology, including motion capture assessments and physical therapy evaluations, to help players optimize their mechanics and performance.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have an excellent relationship with Driveline, which translates to players training there each offseason. This year saw the likes of Mookie Betts, Gavin Lux, Max Muncy and Chris Taylor, among others, work out at the facility.
Betts and Lux underwent testing and were advised to add some strength, while Taylor visited to simply absorb knowledge. As for Muncy, his focus was on increasing bat speed, per Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:
“I was like, OK, I’ll give it a shot, why not?” Muncy recalled this week. “If it increases my bat speed, if it helps me catch up to fastballs with guys throwing harder than ever, if it helps me play longer into my career — there was no downside to it for me.”
Muncy believes adding bat speed is necessary with the amount of pitchers who throw fastballs in the triple digits:
“The whole theory was just increasing bat speed,” Muncy said.
“With everyone throwing 100 [mph] now,” Muncy said, “we’ve got to be able to catch up to it.”
Muncy is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 season that saw him just .196/.329/.384 with 22 doubles, 21 home runs and 69 RBI in 136 games.
The 32-year-old posted a fastball runs above average (wFB) of -2.0 last year, which was down from the 26.0 mark he put up in 2021.
Max Muncy comfortable staying at third base for Dodgers
With Justin Turner now with the Boston Red Sox and Miguel Vargas expected to primarily play second base, Muncy will be receiving most of his opportunities at third base this season.
“I felt like I performed very well at third last year. Our internal metrics were very good for me, and I did start feeling comfortable just because I was playing it so much,” Muncy said during Dodgers FanFest.
“Third base is the position I’ve always said you need to play it consistently to feel comfortable over there. When I was bouncing around and I’d play there once every week or two weeks, I felt like it was a very hard position to play. But when I started playing it every day, I got more comfortable and felt like it got a lot easier for me.
“It’s a position I’ve grown to like after playing it so much last year.”
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