However, not all is well in Muncy-ville. Currently, Muncy is hitting .143 in spring training (5 for 35). Equally important – he has just two extra base hits to his credit.
Obviously, two schools of though exist for the bearded first baseman of the Dodgers. While the first simply say that it’s only spring training, the second pool of people are markedly concerned. Still, this is the player who had an OPS of .973 in 2018 and an on-base percentage of .391 on the year. These are numbers that no one can take away from the player.
How concerned should we be with Max Muncy’s current performance? We examine that within this post.
Group One: Max Muncy Will be Fine
Without question, I sit within this group. Surely, the case could be made that Muncy is an overnight sensation. But I don’t believe this is the truth.
No, Muncy passes the eye-ball test; at least for me. I have seen too many good at-bats, too many good habits displayed; to believe that he is anything less than a middle-of-the-order masher. At most, this is a slump within games that don’t count. Perhaps Muncy is simply working on things while in the box and regaining his comfort. And besides – there are a number of other Dodgers’ regulars hitting below .225 – Bellinger, Taylor, and Pederson to name a few.
Moreover, Muncy is recovering from a barking forearm. Once that forearm regains full strength, it’s likely that we see the player that resembles the 2018 version on a more regular basis.
Muncy may not slug at a .582 clip again in his life – but total regression where the bottom falls out – would be extremely unlikely. The worst truth likely lies somewhere in between.
Group Two: I am Really Worried About Max Muncy
There is a group with valid concern – a group that points towards a small body of work that supports Muncy as a solid offensive player. After all, just 395 total at-bats were recorded in 2018. Before that, Muncy logged two insignificant and unsuccessful seasons at the big league level for Oakland.
Surely, this group has likely never thought more of Muncy than him being a simple ‘cherry on the sundae’ or bonus. Muncy was the four leaf clover plucked at the perfect time by the Dodgers’ front office, and it worked out. Anything gained beyond 2018 is gravy, and if nothing is gained; well that’s what was expected.
Therefore, even if someone believes in Muncy’s ability; they could sit within this group if they believe he is still injured. A forearm or wriest injury can wreak havoc on an offensive approach. As a whole, we were really never told the severity of Muncy’s injury to begin with. It’s entirely possible he is still playing hurt – and if he is – who knows when it will heal.
Unrest resides in camp two, and it will remain there until Muncy puts together something resembling his 2018.
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Dodgers Fans’ Level of Concern With Max Muncy
In a poll posted by Dodgers Nation on our official twitter account, only 17 percent of voters said they have no concern with Muncy’s struggles. Furthermore, with around 1,000 votes; the remainder voices some level of concern from low (24 percent) to high (27 percent).
What is your level of concern for Max Muncy and his .143 ST BA,right now?
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) March 20, 2019
We took the time to let you add a voice to your concern or lack thereof for Muncy’s early doldrums.
#Dodgers fans: Max Muncy hitting .143 in spring. How concerned are you with this carrying over to the regular season, if at all?
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) March 20, 2019
Here are some of the responses we received, varying from none to a lot.
Concerned. People act like he is a given based on one season after being a career minor leaguer.
— Terence Gallagher (@TerenceGallag10) March 20, 2019
Should have traded him while the value was high. He and Bellinger are basically the same guy except Bellinger is better.
— Mitch Friedman (@mitchf7) March 20, 2019
Dodgers got Muncy for a bucket of balls and he never was a top prospect. Had one big year similar to Taylor. Trade Muncy now for a proven bullpen arm while teams still believe he can hit 35 bombs again.
— adam holguin (@holguin_adam) March 20, 2019
Come On Man! We talking about spring training…..spring training!
— Paul G (@PGee65875576) March 20, 2019
Theres a book on him now. If he adjusts back will be known sooner than later. Concern? 50/50.
— TruthAddict (@splmygutz) March 20, 2019
Without a way to forecast Muncy’s 2019 before it happens – we obviously don’t know how the story ends. No matter where you sit on the side of the argument, one cannot argue that Muncy has earned the opportunity to let the cement harden. What is meant by this is he’s earned the opportunity to show if he’s the real deal, or a simple one year wonder. Moreover, it’s possible that Muncy is just a solid big league player; that’s truly the most likely outcome.
Let us know how you feel about Max Muncy’s current struggles in the comment section!