How would you grade Max Muncy’s 2020 season, Dodgers fans?
Max Muncy didn’t have the type of regular season Dodger fans had come to expect of him.
The 30-year-old was coming off an All-Star 2019 campaign, and led the Dodgers with 35 homers in 2018. That being said, I bet there aren’t too many Dodger fans, or even baseball analysts, who would’ve predicted that he would develop into the middle of the order force he is today.
To say that Muncy struggled upon getting to the big leagues would be putting it nicely. The former Baylor Bear and Oakland A’s castaway slashed a meager .195/.290/.321 before retooling his swing with the Dodgers.
Muncy made a name for himself as one of the premier power hitters in the National League during the previous two seasons, but unfortunately regressed in 2020. He slashed just .192/.331/.389 with 12 homers, four doubles, 27 RBI, and a steal (one attempt) over 58 games.
Those numbers don’t look great for a Max Muncy season. In fact ,they just don’t look great overall.
However, it wasn’t all bad. Muncy’s advanced metrics took a slight hit in 2020, but they indicate that we might’ve seen more regression than what actually occurred. He’s still hitting the ball hard, finishing in the 81st percentile for barrel %, 80th for expected weighted on base average, and 76th for expected slugging.
Muncy’s already elite chase rate improved even further in 2020, down to just 15.9%. To put it in perspective, the chase rate for the entire league was 28.2% this year. Another positive was Muncy turning it around in the postseason. After striking out four times in five at-bats against the Brewers, he was an on-base machine, walking at a prodigious rate and hitting .318 with a homer and six RBI in the World Series.
Dodgers 2020 MLB Season Grades: Max Muncy
Muncy had a down year, but I’m still giving him a B- for his timely playoff hitting and the fact that the metrics were still relatively kind to him.
I think he’s going to be fine next season. He’s one of the most patient hitters in baseball, which results in a lot of strikeouts because he sees so many pitches, but also means he’s hitting his pitches and drawing a lot of walks.