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All-Star Game

Dodgers 2021 All-Star profile: Max Muncy

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2nd midsummer classic for Muncy, who will start at DH for the National League

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Max Muncy has been the Dodgers’ best player in 2021, and having his best year. Already known for his patience, Muncy has optimized an impressive array of skills this year, dramatically reducing his chase rate and strikeout rate while increasing his already-high walk rate.

Max Muncy’s plate discipline

Year BB rate K rate Chase rate
Year BB rate K rate Chase rate
2018 16.4% 27.2% 18.8%
2019 15.3% 25.3% 19.7%
2020 15.7% 24.2% 15.9%
2021 18.2% 17.9% 13.4%
Source: Baseball Reference & Baseball Savant

Add to that power — he’s top 10 in the NL in both home runs and isolated power — and excellent defense at both first and second base, Muncy is an easy and well-deserving All-Star.

“It’s one of those things where, the way my career has gone, it’s always a blessing to see how far I’ve come,” Muncy said. “It means a lot to me that I’m getting some recognition.”

Selection process

Muncy was a players selection to the All-Star Game, receiving the second-most votes at first base — 258, narrowly behind the 272 votes for Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman, who was elected by fans to start at first base.

Dave Roberts, who manages the National League All-Stars, said Muncy will start at designated hitter and bat second for the NL.

All-Star history

This is the second All-Star selection for Muncy, who was a reserve in 2019, named as a replacement for Anthony Rendon. Muncy played the final five innings at second base at Progressive Field in Cleveland and was 0-for-2 at the plate, with a groundout and a strikeout.

Muncy was a part of All-Star festivities in 2018 in Washington D.C. as well, participating in Home Run Derby. Muncy beat Javier Báez in the first round, matching the round high with 17 home runs, but then lost to eventual champion Bryce Harper 13-12 in the semifinals in Harper’s home park.

Pre-break stats

Muncy is hitting .270/.414/.559 with 19 home runs, leading the National League in on-base percentage and walks (58). His 165 wRC+ ranks second in the NL, and he’s second in bWAR (4.3) and fourth in fWAR (3.6).

Dodgers history

Muncy will be the first Dodger to start at designated hitter in the All-Star Game, and only the 21st National League DH starter in midsummer classic history. No designated hitters were used in the All-Star Game before 1989, when they started using the position in American League parks, before switching to a DH for both teams in every All-Star Game since 2010.

Two Dodgers have batted as a designated hitter in the All-Star Game, both as reserves: Gary Sheffield grounded out in 1999 at Fenway Park, and Andre Ethier singled home a run in 2011 at Chase Field.

This is the 10th time a Dodger has started and batted second in an All-Star Game, by eight different players. Before Muncy, the last Dodgers starter in the two hole was Yasiel Puig in 2014.