Former Baylor star leading Dodgers’ offense in 2018
Last fall, the Los Angeles Dodgers fell just one win short of the franchise’s seventh World Series title, taking the championship series to a seventh game against the Houston Astros.
A popular preseason choice to make it back to the World Series again this fall, the Dodgers have instead floundered — due in large part to injuries that have already taken down all-stars such as Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager, Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig. With 40% of the season gone by, Los Angeles is just two games over .500.
But… at the same time, the Dodgers are only three games out of first place in their division. One of the big reasons LA is still hanging around? Former Baylor standout Max Muncy.
Called up from the minors in early April when Turner went on the disabled list, Muncy’s bat has kept him in the lineup even after his teammate’s return. In fact, so far this season, Muncy has been the Dodgers’ best hitter — despite a roster than includes as many as eight former all-stars. At this writing, he leads the Dodgers in home runs (13), on-base percentage (.395), slugging percentage (.631) and OPS (1.026). And since June 3, no one in all of Major League Baseball has more home runs than Muncy.
“In his two months with the Dodgers, Muncy has advanced from useful to indispensable,” noted the Los Angeles Times last weekend, noting that his defensive flexibility also offers unique value to the team. “He has made it possible for the Dodgers to rest third baseman Justin Turner, and to try first baseman Cody Bellinger in center field when Taylor moved to shortstop. The Dodgers have worked out Muncy at second base and could try him there when Turner returns.”
A Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American in 2010, Muncy led the Bears in most major offensive categories in 2011 and was a 5th-round pick by the Oakland A’s in 2012. He made his major league debut with the A’s in 2015, appearing in 96 games over two seasons before joining the Dodgers system in 2017.
Sic ’em, Max!