Muncy hefts a big stick for playoff-bound Dodgers

Djokovic goes for calender year Grand Slam in U.S. Open

Max Muncy

In the category of reclamation projects that became stars for the Los Angeles Dodgers, we present for your consideration Max Muncy.

Indeed in their All-Star first baseman, the Angelenos have a legitimate middle-of-the-order force who has gone from the proverbial outhouse to the penthouse in the space of five years and is now a big reason why the team is likely headed for another postseason appearance.

Selected in the fifth round by the Oakland A’s in the 2012 MLB Draft, the Dallas-area native put up solid numbers in the A’s system before being called up to the bigs in 2015. There, he floundered, hitting a combined .195 in 2015-16 with five home runs, 17 RBIs, a .290 on-base percentage and an unsightly .611 OPS in 96 games. After being designated for assignment just before the 2017 season, he was eventually released.

Signing a minor league deal with the Dodgers that year, he spent the season at Oklahoma City in the Pacific Coast League, retooled his swing and surfaced with the Dodgers in 2018 a different hitter. He hit 35 homers in his first full year in Chavez Ravine in only 395 at-bats, to go along with a .263 average, a .391 on-base percentage and an OPS of .973.

A similar output followed in 2019, when he made his first All-Star appearance. His numbers fell off precipitously in the pandemic-abbreviated year of 2020, one that hurt a lot of players. But he’s returned to his customary level of play this season, through mid-August hitting .272 with 25 homers, 69 RBIs, a .402 on-base percentage and a .952 OPS. He also earned his second All-Star berth.

Muncy and the Dodgers can be seen in action Sunday, Sept. 5, when they conclude a three-game series in San Francisco against the NL West rival Giants in a game airing on ESPN.

Player Profile

Full name: Maxwell Steven Muncy

Birth date: Aug. 25, 1990

Birthplace: Midland, Texas

Height/weight: 6 feet/215 pounds

College: Baylor

Teams: Oakland A’s (2015-17); Los Angeles Dodgers (2018-present)

Position: First base

Bats/throws: Left/right

No.: 13

Honors and achievements: Two-time All-Star (2019, 2021); 2020 World Series champion; chosen twice to the All-Big 12 Conference team

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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