Oakland Athletics: What Is Max Muncy’s Potential?

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The Oakland Athletics’ rookie Max Muncy was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on September 8 along with Craig Gentry. Even though he has had a few stints in the Majors this season, each time Muncy has come up to fill a roster spot, he has not gotten much playing time. Thus, no one really knows what to expect from this 6’-0”, 25 year old. What can he add to this team in the coming years?

Muncy is a first baseman by trade but can also play at third. Unfortunately, both of these positions are highly competitive among the Athletics. At third, there is Danny Valencia, Brett Lawrie, and now Tyler Ladendorf. At first, there is fellow rookie Mark Canha, Billy Butler, Jake Smolinski, and Stephen Vogt and Ike Davis when they are healthy. With another rookie already starting at first base as well as performing well offensively, and Brett Lawrie now covering second the majority of the time, it seems as though third base might be Muncy’s best bet even though it is his poorer fielding position.

Muncy only started playing at third base in 2014 and has logged just 54 games at in this position in the Minors compared to his 303 at first base. Additionally, his defense at third is not great with only a .950 fielding percentage throughout his minor league career in that position. However, there is hope that he will improve now that the Oakland Athletics have hire Ron Washington as a full time coach. Washington is great at working with younger players on their infield defense and has improved Marcus Semien’s fielding skills immensely since coming on in May.

When it comes to offense, he does not have a power bat, but his short and compact swing allows him to get on base often. This year in Triple-A, Muncy batted .350/.406/.755. It is a little bit of a different story for his Major League batting stats for he is only hitting .217 with two home runs and six RBI in 36 games played with Oakland. Even though he had some trouble getting into a good groove while in the Majors, his confidence at the plate will surely grow as he receives more playing time.

For now, it looks as though Muncy will be the backup for first and third base. Unless he is able to truly wow the coaches with an outstanding bat and stellar defense, he will not be the everyday starter in either of those positions. His only hope is to be consistent both in the field and at the plate, so that the Oakland Athletics can count on him to fill in if Valencia or Canha needs a day off or lands on the disabled list.

Next: Oakland Athletics: Four Key Relievers Who Should Return in 2016

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