The Dodger’s exhibition schedule is rolling right along. The calendar has turned to March and we should start seeing the opening day roster taking shape soon. Most of the roster is set with only a couple of exceptions. We know that A.J. Pollock is the new center fielder. Cody Bellinger is moving to right field. Chris Taylor should see a lot of time at second base and Corey Seager and Justin Turner will be patrolling the left side of the infield. There is one Dodger that doesn’t have a permanent position yet, and that’s Max Muncy.
Muncy was one of the Dodgers most productive hitters in 2018. He slashed .263/.391.582 with 35 home runs, 79 runs batted in and a 161 OPS + over 481 plate appearances. Muncy led the club in home runs and early in the season last year was one of the few Dodgers that they could count on to drive in runs with runners on base.
The problem with Muncy is he is not the fleetest of foot, nor is he the best defensive player. The Dodgers primarily used him at first base in 2018 but he also saw some time at second and third. The Dodgers even tried him a few times in left field. The third base experiment was a disaster and the Dodgers only did that when Justin Turner was out recovering from the broken wrist he suffered in spring training.
You want to put Muncy where he can do the least amount of damage with the glove. With Bellinger moving permanently into right field we can say that Muncy’s best spot is first base. He’s put up negative defensive numbers at almost every position he’s played but he has the most experience (107 career games) at first. So First base may the best position for Muncy.
On the other hand, surprisingly Muncy has posted the best numbers as a second baseman. In 34 games and 250 innings at the keystone, Muncy has 6 defensive runs saved and a +1 fielding rating. Even more surprising is the fact that he’s made just one error there in 125 chances.
The Dodgers may still move Muncy around in 2019. We know how much they love platoons. Muncy may see time at first, second and maybe a few games in left field. Muncy is a bat first player. The Dodgers have to keep his bat in the lineup. The safest and most comfortable position for him is first base. Where do you think Muncy should play this season?