A pair of Dodgers made the MLB Team of the Month for May. First baseman Max Muncy (.330/.440/.714) and catcher Will Smith (.308/.371/.462) were both named to the squad.
Smith and Muncy helped power the Dodgers to 155 runs scored for the month. Only Tampa Bay (160) put up more runs than Los Angeles. It’s fitting that two of the most patient hitters in the league earned Team of the Month honors.
Among qualified catchers in May, Smith was tops in OBP, average, WAR, and weighted runs created plus (wRC+). He provided consistency while still creating contact. Not surprisingly, Smith also had the lowest strikeout rate (16.9%) of the group as well.
What has been a surprise has been Smith’s defense thus far. For the season, Smith leads all catchers in Def (7.1). For those that didn’t ask, Def is a single measure of overall defensive value created by FanGraphs.
His bat got him on the Team of the Month, but his bat and his glove could get him on the All-Star Team this year.
Where to start with Mr. Muncy’s May? For all position players, he finished second in WAR (1.9) and home runs (10), third in OBP (.440) and first in slugging percentage (.714).
Muncy homered in three consecutive games in early May. Even better, Muncy mashed home runs in three of the four games against the Giants this past weekend.
All in, Muncy recorded a 1.155 OPS in May and stabilized the top of the order. It seems like every time the Dodgers needed a big hit, Muncy delivered and then some.
If the season ended today, Muncy would finish his highest career OPS (.995).
With all the talent the Dodgers have, May shouldn’t be the last time we see a Dodger on a MLB Team of the Month.