Max Muncy laughs at the MLB draft

Most of the baseball world will be looking at their new draft picks and salivating about things to come, and certainly, the Dodgers have done well enough in the draft to brag about the likes of 2016 ROY Corey Seager, 2017 ROY Cody Bellinger, and newest Dodger rookie sensation Walker Buehler. They were picked number one, number four, and number one respectively in their Dodger draft class.

But the Dodgers of 2018 are being led not by draft whiz kids, but by journeyman and castoffs. We are talking about Max Muncy, Ross Stripling, and Matt Kemp.

Max Muncy leads the class of befuddlement, but Fangraphs took a look and it does not appear to be a mirage.

He’s batted 126 times. Out of the 298 players with at least 100 plate appearances, Muncy’s wRC+ ranks in the 90th percentile. Meanwhile, his expected wOBA, based on Statcast inputs, ranks in the 97th percentile. By hard-hit rate, he ranks in the 94th percentile. And by chase rate — out-of-zone swings — he ranks in the 90th percentile. Out of everyone with at least 50 tracked batted balls, Muncy ranks third in the rate of batted balls hit between +10 and +40 degrees. At last, his contact rate is basically average.

At the end of a long column, Jeff Sullivan says he can see shades of Matt Carpenter another non-prospect who didn’t get established in the major leagues until his age 26 season. Carpenter started out a 2nd baseman, moved to 3rd base, moved to 1st base, and this year has played all three positions. Matt Carpenter is a very valuable baseball player, and if Max Muncy can even sniff that career, that is a huge win for a man who anyone in baseball could have had for virtually nothing.

Ross Stripling is starting tonight after finishing one of the best months of May by a right handed Los Angeles Dodger starting pitcher in history.  The table below shows you how he ranks for any LAD who made at least five starts in the Month of May with an ERA below 1.50. It is an exclusive list with only Mike Morgan being the abberation of brilliant Dodger pitchers. Yet, if Ross Stripling can put up a run of Mike Morgan Dodger seasons, it will be more than anyone expected headed into 2018. The K rate is ridiculous, but just as outstanding is the SO/W rate.

Player Split Year SO ERA
Don Drysdale May 1968 45 0.53 8 68.0 46 0.853 6.0 3.75
Kevin Brown May 2003 36 1.02 6 44.0 28 0.795 7.4 5.14
Zack Greinke May 2015 31 1.05 5 34.1 21 0.816 8.1 4.43
Ross Stripling May 2018 41 1.2 5 30.0 24 0.933 12.3 10.25
Don Drysdale May 1967 44 1.2 7 60.0 47 1.000 6.6 3.38
Mike Morgan May 1989 31 1.27 5 35.1 25 0.962 7.9 3.44
Don Sutton May 1969 38 1.29 7 56.0 39 0.893 6.1 3.45
Don Sutton May 1975 46 1.35 7 60.0 38 0.800 6.9 4.60

Eveyone has already written about Matt Kemp but suffice to say, WOW.

Of course I now cross my fingers that Muncy, Stripling, and Kemp don’t turn into June pumpkins, but if they do, Dodger fans can’t forget they kept the ship afloat in May when very few were.



  1. Faith-Free

    I think Roberts has used Kemp judiciously, giving him days off and removing him in the late innings. I’m bullish on Stripling, more skeptical of Muncy – who I think is a bench player in the long run. Given Forsythe’s continued struggles, though, it might be worth giving Muncy some time at 2B.


  2. It is right to be skeptical of Max Muncy as well as Ross and even Kemp. But, it is nice to see the underlying metrics support the level of hitting and pitching by Max and Ross. They aren’t doing it with mirrors. That is not to say that the pitchers won’t make adjustments to Max and the hitters to Ross.
    As far as 2nd base, that would be amazing but I’m not sure I’ve seen a body type like Max play 2nd base.
    I love what Kemp is doing but at this point last year he was also hitting well over .300. He just seems like an injury waiting to happen but we are 1/3 of the way into the year and he’s still lumbering in left field while providing lumber at the plate. If Matt makes it through the whole season somewhat healthy, it will be amazing. I guess when you lose 40 pounds your body can handle more.


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