Max Muncy’s 2018 season was nothing short of the thing of legend. Now, he has a ‘mural’ that has taken on a life of it’s own in Los Angeles.
Indeed, Muncy knows the streets and is more at home entering his sophomore campaign for the Dodgers in 2019. Now, Muncy tells Bill Plunkett of the OC Register what the year-two challenges will be for him as a big league player.
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) March 5, 2019
First, let’s hear from Andrew Friedman on why Muncy has a chance at sustained success.
”He’s aggressive on pitches in the strike zone. He’s passive on balls outside of the strike zone. And he hits balls in the strike zone hard. Simply said, that’s a really good combination. We expect that to continue. Now – do as many go over the fence as opposed to split the outfielders and it’s a double? I don’t know. But we expect him to be a significant contributor again.”
Moreover, Friedman is onto something here. If you watch Muncy’s approach in the box, it just has a mature nature to it. What I mean by this is that Muncy often can provide a quality at-bat against some of the tougher arms in baseball. Surely, he falls victim to a tough breaking ball in the dirt like all hitters do. Still, Muncy has no trouble handling elite pitching.
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Furthermore, Muncy is a fun guy to watch and even easier to root for. He spoke directly of the challenges he will face with some humility.
“One of the biggest differences probably is, when I go up there in the batter’s box, teams aren’t going to be thinking, ‘Oh, here’s a guy – we know what he did in Oakland. He struggled,’ ” Muncy says. “Now it’s going to be, ‘OK, we can’t make a mistake against this guy.’ I do think that will be one of the biggest differences – that guys are going to be obviously a little more alert. Not saying I’m Miguel Cabrera out there. I think that will probably be one of the biggest challenges from Day One. It’s not going to be easy.”
Muncy knows he isn’t Miguel Cabrera up there. What a guy. Then, Muncy went on to compare himself to his teammates.
“That’s probably the challenge everyone faces. You talk about Cody (Bellinger) and CT. When Cody comes up, it’s ‘OK, he’s a rookie. Let’s see if he can hit this pitch. Let’s see if he can handle this.’ He does, then the next year it becomes, ‘OK, let’s see if he can do this.’
Furthermore, Muncy uses similar young players as example with what he’s facing. It is this ability to relate – and possibly sharing his experiences with them – that should translate to a second season of success for the Dodgers and the man with the mural.