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Muncy's addition gives Dodgers 5 All-Stars

@kengurnick
July 7, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers felt Max Muncy’s Friday addition to the National League All-Star team only corrected a snub, while Muncy called the honor “a dream come true.” Muncy took the place of injured Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon. He joins previously announced Dodgers teammates Cody Bellinger, Hyun-Jin Ryu,

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers felt Max Muncy’s Friday addition to the National League All-Star team only corrected a snub, while Muncy called the honor “a dream come true.”

Muncy took the place of injured Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon. He joins previously announced Dodgers teammates Cody Bellinger, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler, giving the Dodgers the most All-Stars in the NL.

All-Star Game presented by Mastercard: Tuesday, 4:30 p.m. PT on FOX

It’s the first official All-Star berth for the 28-year-old Muncy, who competed in the 2018 T-Mobile Home Run Derby while in the midst of a breakout season that he has continued this year.

Muncy is slashing .266/.366/.531 with 22 homers and 60 RBIs this season. Since May 1, he is batting .278 (59-for-212) with 17 homers and 43 RBIs. The former Baylor Bear is among the NL leaders in homers (tied for ninth), RBIs (13th), OBP (20th) and OPS (tied for 18th, .897). On the road, he boasts the seventh-best OPS in all of baseball (.995) and has amassed 14 homers and 36 RBIs away from Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers believe Muncy was overlooked, in part, because he was listed on the ballot as a first baseman but has played most of the season at second base. Braves star Freddie Freeman will start at first base.

“The fact that Josh Bell wasn’t the starter [at first base] says it all,” said Muncy, referring to the talent-laden position. “The guy’s got 800 RBIs or whatever it is, looking like he’s the best player in the world behind Belli [Bellinger], but it’s a talented position at first. All those guys deserve to be there.”

The 2019 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard will be played on Tuesday at Progressive Field in Cleveland. It will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.

Muncy’s father was an Indians fan and Cleveland native, so Muncy said he knows how special it will be for him to be there.

Muncy said he paid no attention to skeptics who wondered whether he could duplicate last year’s 35-homer breakout.

“The biggest thing I did was understand what kind of year I had,” he said. “Understanding that, no matter how hard you work or how prepared you become, you’re not going to do the same thing. Hitting a home run every 10 at-bats is probably never going to happen again. You have to be realistic about it.

“When I did that, it was like, get back to work, like that had never happened. I went through the offseason acting like last year never happened. For me, that kept me from being complacent, made me hungry to work hard and go out there this year and prove like I’ve never done anything yet.”

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who will manage the NL team, was one of the most outspoken advocates for Muncy’s addition to the team.

“Major League Baseball got it right, and I don’t think anyone can dispute that,” said Roberts. “In this day of self-promotion and a lot of things that lead to the fans, it’s not always about who’s having the best first half and all the statistics, and he deserves it.”

During the All-Star Game, fans may visit MLB.com and the 30 club sites to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.