Dodgers: Max Muncy Ranked Among The Elite at Second Base by ESPN
First off, how great did Max Muncy perform for the Los Angeles Dodgers at second base in 2019? Without question, Muncy’s prowess up the middle was one of the pleasant surprises of the entire season in his second year as a Dodger.
Obviously everyone knows the guy can lay the lumber when at the plate. Now, ESPN has ranked Muncy the third overall second baseman in the game in a new article.
Who ya got at No. 1: DJ LeMahieu or Jose Altuve (or someone else)? Here's @Buster_ESPN's top 10 second basemen. #Yankees #Astros #MLB https://t.co/GAJ43MJA5o
— Matt Marrone (@thebigm) January 6, 2020
Here’s what they have to say about Mad Max at the position.
It’s hard to overstate how much respect rival evaluators have for the Dodgers left-handed hitter; their words are similar to what has been said about Justin Turner. Intense plate appearances. Never gives in. Wholly focused. And while Muncy isn’t a gifted defender — his skill set isn’t really suited for any particular defensive position — he’s OK wherever Dave Roberts opts to play him on a given day. He could easily be listed among the first basemen, but most of his starts last year were at second base (62). He opened 42 games at first base and 26 at third. He was a plus-5 at third base, a plus-5 at second base and a plus-3 at first base.
According to the research of MLB.com’s Sarah Langs: Since 2003, the only other player to be at least plus-3 at three different infield positions in the same season was Bill Hall in 2004. That year, Hall was a plus-3 at third, a plus-3 at shortstop and a plus-5 at second.
Now, let’s run down the top 10 of ESPN’s list. While I guess I hold Muncy mentally in my top second baseman, I didn’t realize to some he is only behind D.J. Lemahieu and Jose Altuve overall at the position. Emphatically, that makes an impression on me.
- D.J. Lemahieu
- Jose Altuve
- Max Muncy
- Ozzie Albies
- Kolten Wong
- David Fletcher
- Keston Hiura
- Jonathan Villar
- Jean Segura
- Brandon Lowe
Obviously, what ESPN says about Muncy brings forward a key point. Perhaps the fact that he’s not suited to play any one particular position makes him the perfect Dodger. With the way the organization likes to mix and match based on data, Muncy arrived at the right time.
Finally, it’s remarkable to learn that Muncy was not only a plus-defender at second base; but also at first base and third base. The signs are everywhere that Los Angeles has a superstar player in Muncy; if you didn’t already consider him this.
NEXT: Muncy’s Home Run off Mad Bum Named Top-20 MLB Moment of 2019
Max Muncy and Justin Turner are the two big Dodger reclamation projects. They were both almost out of baseball until the Dodgers found them and gave them a shot. They both hit the ground running and never looked back. Neither of them looks like the prototypical chiseled athlete. In fact they both look like they could pull off a Santa gig around Christmas, especially when Turner is sporting the big beard. But looks are deceiving. They represent two of the very best FO moves the Dodgers have ever made. And they both compete at a high level in the postseason as well. The average fan can identify with them easily. The only beauty contest either one will ever win is in uniform, on a baseball field. They are working men who can play the game.
Without a doubt this is Friedman’s diamond in the rough! Max is by far the toughest and most reliable guy on the team! He gives the same A.B. in April as Oct. Plays phenomenal defense, just a gamer! A lot like puig without the attitude! You give us 7 more of him, and this team would break the drought! Munch hopefully can rub off on some more teammates!