1. Max Muncy
Originally, Muncy was in a similar boat as Bellinger. He had a team option for the 2023 season that some wondered whether LA might reject, mostly because of his down year after injuring his elbow in Game 162 last year.
But then in August, the Dodgers announced they’d signed Muncy through 2023 (guaranteeing him that team option) before tacking on another team option for 2024. It appears his slow rebound convinced the front office of better things to come next year.
Muncy’s August and September, though only 33 games long, have featured eight doubles, 10 homers and 28 RBI. In his previous 83 games, Muncy had recorded 10 doubles, 9 home runs, and 32 RBI. Toss in an expected 15-point improvement with his wOBA for 2023 as a result of the shift ban, and there’s no doubt the Dodgers factored that into their decision making.
But looking at Muncy’s spray chart, it’s hard to deny he’ll be the biggest beneficiary out of these Dodgers players. Freeman hits the ball to all fields and Bellinger, surprisingly, has a diverse spray chart for 2023. Muncy has FIVE opposite-field hits beyond the infield this year. Mostly everything else has been pulled, and a decent portion have been up the middle/to center.
Get that third infielder out of here. Muncy’s ready to rake in countless more doubles and singles next year. His return to form will take the Dodgers to new heights if he can achieve it.