The Los Angeles Dodgers’ three-game series against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum marked a bit of a homecoming for Max Muncy, who was selected by the organization in the fifth round of the 2012 MLB Draft.
The 30-year-old made his big league debut with the Athletics three years later and went on to appear in 96 games from 2015-16. He mostly struggled over that span, hitting just .195/.290/.321 in 245 plate appearances.
Muncy was designated for assignment by the Athletics in January 2017 and eventually would be released on the final day of Spring Training that year. He signed a Minor League contract with the Dodgers shortly after, which wound up changing the trajectory of his career.
Muncy credited a change in mindset for his turnaround. “The biggest difference — and I talk about this all the time — is just who I am mentally as a person. I was a lot different back then,” Muncy said of his Athletics stint.
“I’ve grown a lot, made a lot of changes. I’d almost say I’m more of a kid now, going out there and having fun on the field. It doesn’t matter what the results are. I’m always going to show frustration when I don’t do good, but I’m just happy to be out there.
“I’m very thankful and grateful that I get to go out there and play baseball. That’s the biggest change, I think.”
Muncy went into detail about some of the mental changes he made. “The biggest thing was just trying to enjoy life, really. When I was running out of my time in Oakland, it was a lot of depression, a lot of just not being happy with who I was,” he said.
“Showing up to the field every day was really a grind. It was something I almost didn’t even want to do, and that’s kind of why I was out of baseball for a little bit. Once they released me, there wasn’t any urgency to get right back to it. It was almost a relief when it happened.
“Just going home and trying to find a passion for something again and realizing it’s still for baseball and me realizing I needed to change how I went about things. I think I just my outlook on life a little bit.
“It’s kind of a tough thing to go through, but it’s one of those things that you’re thankful happened, because it’s the reason you are the person you are today.”
Muncy: ‘Pretty special’ to see growth as a person since joining Dodgers
Now into his fourth season with the Dodgers, Muncy is proud of all that he has accomplished as a person since joining the organization. “I definitely reflect on it. It’s pretty cool for me,” Muncy said.
“It’s pretty special just to know I’ve grown so much, I’ve changed a lot and I’m able to go out and enjoy things a lot easier than I used to. For me, that’s pretty cool. But as a baseball player it’s kind of hard for me, because I try to move forward each day and not look back.”
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