We have finally arrived at Max Muncy’s 2018 player review. I signed up quickly for this one amongst my colleagues. I did this; because Max Muncy changed my life. Yes, it’s true. Without Maxwell Steven Muncy this past season of magic ends up entirely different.
I need to be honest and come clean. When Max Muncy showed up in San Diego on that April 17th night – I wasn’t expecting much. And then on the next night, Muncy dumped a backside homer into the stands in left field at Petco. I said to myself ‘that’s a pretty good piece of hitting’. Slightly intrigued, I craved more Muncy. From there, the guy never did anything but take the baton and run with it.
He became one of my guys. A guy I would defend until the death. He earned that. Hitterish enough to soften my cold heart. I even became okay with him ‘taking’ Cody Bellinger’s position.
The truth is – something about Muncy’s rags to riches story was a microcosm of the 2018 Dodgers. Muncy made me feel.
Fairy Tale Ending
Ladies and gentleman, how about one of the greatest nights I ever spent in Los Angeles? Let us go back to a time when it was all still in front of us.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 27, 2018
The gang from Dodgers Nation was all at Mohawk Bend about a mile from Chavez. Max Muncy sent us home exalted and exhausted. It could only be Muncy – no one else was going to be hero that night. With one swing, it felt like the Greek God of offense had turned the 2018 World Series on it’s head when he touched up Nate Eovaldi with textbook Muncy backside power.
I knew Muncy was fun before that night. Hell, one of the best moments all season was this one. Muncy homered so much that Charlie Steiner lost track of who he was and gave him credit for Joc Pederson’s bomb. And then to make things right, Muncy homered himself.
I will never forget how bonkers we went when Muncy hit that bomb in the World Series to salvage. People were hugging – on the verge of tears. No, the Dodgers didn’t come back and win the series. However, for a moment in time; Muncy once again reminded us all of the magic of baseball. A guy who nearly gave up on the game and didn’t play in 2017 walked off a game in the grandest of stages. For me, that’s what it’s all about. The raw emotion a player like Muncy can evoke.
By and large, it’s okay to believe that 2018 will be the best season on the back of Muncy’s baseball card. His .973 OPS had him up there with the Mike Trout’s of the world for most of the season. He homered 35 times, walked 79, knocked in 79 and even added three steals.
He was a 4.2 bWAR player that fell into the Dodgers laps from the sky like a gift from the Heavens. Never one did he complain when he was platooned despite an .891 OPS against southpaws. All the while, he played every position on the infield except shortstop. Muncy was a team guy who was there for our enjoyment. And when he hit homers – he got all of them. A lot of scouts missed on the power this guy displayed for Los Angeles in 2018.
Sometimes – it’s okay to just say the numbers were great – but the player is a lot of fun. I never thought it Muncy would fall into that category; but by golly he is just one of those lovable players in Dodger blue.
Looking to 2019
Muncy has been bantered about in trade fodder early in the offseason, albeit slightly. The Dodgers are at a conundrum; do you trade a player at possible maximum-value who served you so well? Or do you hold the stock and risk it bottoming out? Only a few know the answer, and even then they may not know the correct answer.
If Muncy is back – he figures to be a middle of the order masher who offers some versatility. However, take Max Muncy for what he was and is. For one season in the sun, he was the magic inside Chavez Ravine; and it was a helluva memorable ride. We will always have 2018, Mad Max. You and I.
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