Welcome to part eight of the annual Dodgers Nation player grades and season reviews, this time for the 2022 season. Up next in the series is Mr. Get It Out of the Ocean, Max Muncy. Check out Trea Turner in part one, Freddie Freeman in part two, Mookie Betts in part three, Gavin Lux in part four, Will Smith in part five, Cody Bellinger in part six, and Justin Turner in part seven.
Max Muncy had quite the up-and-down season in 2022. If I had to compare it to a ride at an amusement park, I would call his 2022 season a rollercoaster. Muncy was coming off a torn UCL that he suffered on the final day of the 2021 regular season, and struggled to get back to the pre-elbow surgery version of himself.
Muncy was placed on the injured list at the end of May, hitting just .150 with three home runs in 133 at-bats at the time. It was looking like he may never return to his former All-Star self. But then, it got a little better.
Muncy started to find his groove a little bit, and was even rewarded with a contract extension in the middle of August. He ended up finishing the year hitting .196 with 21 home runs and 69 RBIs. It was a far cry from his All-Star seasons in 2019 and 2021, when he mashed 35 and 36 home runs, respectively. But he did have a decent postseason, going four for 14 (.286) with a home run and two runs batted in.
Fan Vote Results
Dodger fans took to Twitter to give Muncy a grade for his 2022 season in Los Angeles. Here are the results:
Of the nearly 1,600 fans that voted in the Dodgers Nation poll, a huge majority of them (66.2%) gave Muncy a C for his 2022 performance. A very optimistic 2.9% awarded him an A, while 19.2% handed him a B. A very unhappy 11.7% gave him an F — clearly, they had much higher expectations for the two-time All Star.
Dodgers Nation Take
It’s definitely hard to argue with the majority of Dodger fans on this one. Muncy entered 2022 with extremely high expectations, and failed to meet just about all of them. The best thing he did in 2022 was provide positional versatility in the infield, but the power wasn’t there, and he really struggled to hit the ball.
In my opinion, someone who hits less than .200 cannot possibly receive a grade higher than a C, which is why that’s what I’ll give him, too. The 21 home runs were nice, but he needs to do a little more at the plate to receive a higher grade.
The Dodgers very quickly rewarded Muncy with a contract extension for the 2023 season. I don’t necessarily disagree with the decision, but it does feel like he could have done a little more to earn it. Nonetheless, he’ll be back with the Dodgers in 2023, and he’ll have to play an even larger role in the lineup without Trea Turner and Cody Bellinger.
The Dodgers will hope that a full offseason can get Muncy back on track, as they’ll need him to be that 30-home run, 90-RBI All-Star that he’s been in past seasons in LA. I’ve always felt like the Dodgers kind of go as Muncy goes, and if he can be that power hitter in the middle of the lineup, the Dodgers won’t have as much trouble next season replacing last year’s production.
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