After two productive seasons at the plate, Max Muncy worked over the offseason to improve his performance against offspeed pitches.
Max Muncy is one of the best signings made during the Andrew Friedman era. Inked to a minor league deal in 2017, the infielder, who hit five career home runs before signing with the Dodgers, turned into a 35 home run player in back-to-back seasons.
While Muncy earned his first All-Star appearance in 2019, matching his production from the season before, there was one area where he struggled, and that is, against offspeed pitches. Something he hopes to improve on whenever baseball returns in 2020.
“Everything has to do with my front leg, how I was landing on my front leg. It’s still something we’re working on,” Muncy told Dodgers Insider. “It’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. It’s been a lot of work in the offseason.”
During the offseason, hitting coaches Brant Brown and Robert Van Scoyoc flew to Texas to work with the left-hander, according to Dodgers Insider.
Why is Muncy focused on improving his performance against offspeed pitches?
Well, last season, he hit only .197 against offspeed offerings, a precipitous decline from his .268 average against the same pitch type in 2018. While pitchers threw only slightly more offspeed pitches in 2019 versus the season before, he saw less first pitch fastballs, and his struggles against change-ups is something that Muncy doesn’t want to become a highlighted section on his scouting report that he has no answer for.
Whenever a hitter talks about landing on his front leg, he is talking about timing. Hitters use a leg kick to control the rhythm of their swing; the point at which their foot lands back in the dirt pivotal to when they make contact with the baseball.
As players continue to follow social distancing guidelines and have lost access to Major League facilities, it might be difficult for Muncy to keep up his offseason workout schedule while waiting for the season to begin.
However, his timing against offspeed pitches is something for fans to keep an eye on when he finally can return to the batter’s box.