Max Muncy Los Angeles Dodgers

Age: 31 (August 25, 1990) | 6' 0" | 210lbs. | Bats: Left 1B-35 2B-12 3B-16 DH-2 PH-30
Tm Lg YEAR G AB R H BB SO 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BA OBP SLG BB% SO% BABIP G/L/F % $4x4 $5x5
LAD AAA 2017 109 320 62 99 54 84 20 1 12 44 3 6 .309 .414 .491 14 22 .387 n/a
LAD AAA 2018 9 32 7 10 6 5 2 0 2 4 0 0 .312 .421 .562 16 13 .320 n/a
LAD NL 2018 137 395 75 104 79 131 17 2 35 79 3 0 .263 .391 .582 16 27 .299 34/21/45 24 23
LAD NL 2019 141 487 101 122 90 149 22 1 35 98 4 1 .251 .374 .515 15 25 .283 38/23/39 21 21
LAD NL 2020 58 203 36 39 39 60 4 0 12 27 1 0 .192 .331 .389 16 24 .203 44/14/42 10 12
LAD NL 2021 144 497 95 124 83 120 26 2 36 94 2 1 .249 .368 .527 14 20 .257 38/21/41 20 20
Career 6yrs 576 1797 334 431 320 515 79 6 123 315 10 2 .240 .361 .496 15 24 .263 n/a
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Remember Game 4 of the NLDS?

In case you don't, here's Robert Arthur reminding us on October 10 at BP:

On Monday, in game four of the NLDS, Max Muncy stepped up to bat against Nationals closer Sean Doolittle. On the fourth pitch, Doolittle left a 94 mile per hour fastball hanging over the center of the strike zone, and Muncy took a monstrous cut. The ball left the bat at 107 miles per hour on a 32 degree angle relative to the ground: a perfect home run trajectory. “That ball was absolutely crushed,” exclaimed Ernie Johnson after the play.

Then something unexpected happened. In a season with more than 6700 dingers, when a less air resistant ball has combined with stronger hitters to produce the highest home run rate in history, this fly ball wafted back to the warning track and fell into Michael Taylor’s glove. Muncy looked up to the sky, smiled, and shook his head.

Variations of this scene have played out a dozen times so far this October. The baseball that was rocketing over the fence in the regular season is gone, replaced by something more reminiscent of the low-homer days of 2016. Evidence from MLB’s tracking systems shows a massive change in the ball’s air resistance so far in the playoffs. And unlike previous season to season variations, this difference is much harder to explain by random manufacturing changes.

And here's Arthur writing yesterday:

There are two possibilities for what happened: either drag on baseballs increases every year in October, which seems like a major problem for the league, or the Statcast measurement system goes a little bit haywire every year in October, which also seems like a problem for the league. Either way, drag increased in the postseason this year in a way it hadn’t in prior seasons, meaning MLB’s problems go beyond year to year variation–they now include month to month issues (extending even to the most important 30 days of the season).

The second twist in the postseason findings is that even though drag went up in the 2019 postseason tournament, seam height didn’t change. That means that the factor that the committee thought explained home run rate changes in the last few years doesn’t unravel what happened this October. There’s clearly more to the story than just seam height, so the committee has a lot of work left to do.

Alex Patton Alex
Dec 13 '19

I'm just noticing that Max tied with Yasmani Grandall, Stephen Strasburg and Eugenio Suarez for 15th in the MVP voting.

A lot of outstanding seasons this year in the NL.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 22 '19

My question: Why don't the players, especially the pitchers, talk about this?

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 11 '19

The key paragraphs:

MLB’s home run rate has fluctuated wildly in the last four seasons, driven primarily by a baseball that has varied between extremes of air resistance. As the aerodynamic drag on the baseball decreases, balls hit with the same exit velocity travel further, turning deep fly outs into dingers. 

In 2017, I came up with a way to measure the air resistance of the baseball using data from MLB’s pitch tracking system. By measuring the loss in speed of a pitch from when it leaves the pitcher’s hand to when it crosses the plate, it’s possible to ascertain how much drag acted on the baseball. This data showed conclusively that the baseball created the current home run era. MLB later acceded to this fact thanks to the work of a commission of scientists and statisticians who confirmed some of these findings.

One week into this year, I wrote that we were headed for some of the lowest air resistance and highest home run rates to date. The season certainly obliged, churning out a record-breaking home run total that shattered 2017’s prior highs. Air resistance was mostly consistent over the course of the season, remaining at a level just below 2017. 

Until October. In the last week’s worth of Division Series games, the drag coefficient spiked to a high it hadn’t regularly sat at since 2016. October days only contain a fraction of the games of a typical regular season night, but we’re still dealing with a sample of more than 800 fastballs to measure drag with. The probability that a random selection of games from the rest of the regular season would feature as much air resistance as we’ve seen so far in the postseason is about one in one thousand. This was an abrupt spike, as well: It’s the largest change in drag coefficient from week to week this season, by a factor of three. 

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 11 '19

It begins:

On Monday, in game four of the NLDS, Max Muncy stepped up to bat against Nationals closer Sean Doolittle. On the fourth pitch, Doolittle left a 94 mile per hour fastball hanging over the center of the strike zone, and Muncy took a monstrous cut. The ball left the bat at 107 miles per hour on a 32 degree angle relative to the ground: a perfect home run trajectory. “That ball was absolutely crushed,” exclaimed Ernie Johnson after the play.

Then something unexpected happened. In a season with more than 6700 dingers, when a less air resistant ball has combined with stronger hitters to produce the highest home run rate in history, this fly ball wafted back to the warning track and fell into Michael Taylor’s glove. Muncy looked up to the sky, smiled, and shook his head.

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 11 '19

Sadly, sharing the BP link below does not get us free riders over the paywall...

Bob Elam Bob-in-TX
Oct 11 '19

Three balls last night that I thought were going out, and so did the batters who hit them:

Meadows in the third

Correa in the fourth

Gurriel in the eighth

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 11 '19

Can pitchers feel the difference in the seams, by the way? Why don't they talk about it?

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 10 '19

If this article by Robert Arthur at BP can be shared on Facebook, it can be shared here.

https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/54306/moonshot-the-rocket-ball-has-disappeared-in-october/

Obviously Howie Kendrick didn't get the memo. But Muncy was shocked and so am I.

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 10 '19

Whatever B-R's algorithm is, it's wrong. Max was the man yesterday.

Yesterday's Top Performers

Batters:

Ronald Acuna Jr.* (ATL): 3-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R

Paul Goldschmidt* (STL): 2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R

Joc Pederson* (LAD): 1-1, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R

Freddie Freeman (ATL): 2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R

Marcell Ozuna (STL): 2-4, 2 RBI, 1 R

Max Muncy (LAD): 2-3, 3 RBI, 1 SB

Pitchers:

Walker Buehler* (LAD): 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 8 K, 3 BB, 75 GmSc

Patrick Corbin* (WSN): 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 9 K, 5 BB, 64 GmSc

Miles Mikolas (STL): 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 K, 2 BB, 57 GmSc

* - pictured above

He doesn't even get a picture!

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 4 '19