Having played a big part in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ success these past few years, Max Muncy was ranked among the top 10 first basemen entering the 2021 season by MLB Network’s The Shredder.
Muncy placed fifth on the list after ranking second heading into the 2020 season. Ahead of him this year are Freddie Freeman (No. 1), Paul Goldschmidt, Luke Voit and Jose Abreu.
The rest of the rankings, in order, is rounded out by Anthony Rizzo (No. 6), Pete Alonso, Matt Olson, Rhys Hoskins and Carlos Santana.
With the 2020 campaign shortened to just 60 games, the 2021 list was compiled by taking into account a three-year sample. It also entailed The Shredder rankings from the past two years and Statcast metrics, among other factors.
Like The Shredder, MLB Network analyst Sarah Langs placed Muncy No. 5 on her list. Vince Gennaro viewed him more favorably, slotting him in at No. 2, while Mike Petriello ranked Muncy the eighth-best first baseman.
In 58 games last season, Muncy batted a lowly .192/.331/.389 with four doubles, 12 home runs and 27 RBI. His struggles can be attributed to a fractured finger sustained in Summer Camp, although he stopped short of using the injury as an excuse.
Muncy did, however, post the second-highest walk rate of his career at 15.7% and found more success in the playoffs. He started all 18 games and hit .250/.438/.467 with four doubles, three home runs, 14 RBI and 20 walks.
Muncy had a double, home run and two RBI in the Dodgers’ historic win over the Atlanta Braves in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series. Overall, he hit safely in 12 playoff games and throughout his plate appearances continued to run counts and draw free passes.
Since 2018, Muncy’s wRC+ of 138 is third to only Freeman’s 145 and Voit’s 144, among qualified first basemen with a minimum of 900 plate appearances.
Looking ahead to the 2021 season, Muncy figures to see more time at first base, but also could receive opportunities at second base depending on how the Dodgers address the position in the coming weeks.
MLB Top 10 first basemen right now for 2021
|Rank||The Shredder||Mike Petriello||Sarah Langs||Vince Gennaro|
|1||Freddie Freeman (Braves)||Freddie Freeman (Braves)||Freddie Freeman (Braves)||Freddie Freeman (Braves)|
|2||Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals)||Luke Voit (Yankees)||Jose Abreu (White Sox)||Max Muncy (Dodgers)|
|3||Luke Voit (Yankees)||Matt Olson (Athletic)||Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals)||Pete Alonso (Mets)|
|4||Jose Abreu (White Sox)||Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals)||Luke Voit (Yankees)||Jose Abreu (White Sox)|
|5||Max Muncy (Dodgers)||Jose Abreu (White Sox)||Max Muncy (Dodgers)||Matt Olson (Athletic)|
|6||Anthony Rizzo (Cubs)||Anthony Rizzo (Cubs)||Anthony Rizzo (Cubs)||Luke Voit (Yankees)|
|7||Pete Alonso (Mets)||Pete Alonso (Mets)||Matt Olson (Athletic)||Brandon Belt (Giants)|
|8||Matt Olson (Athletic)||Max Muncy (Dodgers)||Pete Alonso (Mets)||Josh Bell (Nationals)|
|9||Rhys Hoskins (Phillies)||Brandon Belt (Giants)||Josh Bell (Nationals)||Anthony Rizzo (Cubs)|
|10||Carlos Santana (Royals)||Rhys Hoskins (Phillies)||Brandon Belt (Giants)||Trey Mancini (Orioles)|
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