Max Muncy could make or break the Dodgers World Series chances.
Justin Turner is gone. The longtime Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman is now in Boston. That means that Max Muncy will have to log even more time at the hot corner in 2023 than he did last season.
Muncy played 84 games at third base in 2022 and posted a less-than-desirable .955 fielding percentage. Muncy committed 10 total errors at third base last season, but was worth 7 defensive runs saved (DRS) according to FanGraphs.
But let’s be honest, Muncy is going to get playing time based on his bat, not his glove. However, it was his bat that let him down in 2022. After going to the All-Star Game and receiving MVP consideration in 2021, last year’s slash line of .196/.329/.384 left a lot to be desired.
Muncy’s barrel rate dropped, and despite an increase in his walk rate, the increased number of strikeouts was a problem for the 32-year-old. Muncy is entering a critical season, as LA holds a $10M team option for the 2024 season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are going to need the Max Muncy from 2021 who mashed 36 round-trippers and posted an OPS of .895. Having that version of Muncy helping to anchor the middle of the batting order could help propel Los Angeles back to the World Series. But a performance like Muncy had in 2022 could shatter their dreams of returning to the Fall Classic.