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Muncy aims to 'change perception' in 2016

Infielder is compiling at-bats, time at second base and in outfield
MLB.com @JaneMLB

MESA, Ariz. -- Max Muncy's offseason lasted for one day before he was whisked away to Mexico for a winter ball stint with Jalisco in the Mexican Pacific Winter League, his purpose two-fold.

First and foremost, Muncy yearned for more at-bats, having compiled only 314 between Oakland and Triple-A Nashville during the regular season, batting .206 in 45 games as a rookie with the A's and .274 in 60 with the Sounds. The corner infielder also wanted to use this time to diversify his skill set by playing second base and the outfield.

MESA, Ariz. -- Max Muncy's offseason lasted for one day before he was whisked away to Mexico for a winter ball stint with Jalisco in the Mexican Pacific Winter League, his purpose two-fold.

First and foremost, Muncy yearned for more at-bats, having compiled only 314 between Oakland and Triple-A Nashville during the regular season, batting .206 in 45 games as a rookie with the A's and .274 in 60 with the Sounds. The corner infielder also wanted to use this time to diversify his skill set by playing second base and the outfield.

• Spring Training: Tickets | Ballpark | 40-man roster | NRIs

The A's hoped he could compile between 100-150 at-bats during this span, but a lower abdominal injury limited him to just 25 before he was on a return flight home. He totaled eight hits during this two-week period, including a home run, but he never saw an inning at second base.

Muncy ensured the work didn't stop there, though. After regaining full health, he dropped nearly 15 pounds before gaining roughly half of it back in bulk.

"It's better weight this year. I feel a lot better," Muncy said. "I feel like I'll be able to run a little more, maybe steal some bases. My whole goal is to change the perception about me this year."

Muncy is certainly doing well in expanding his role, utilizing infield coach Ron Washington to help reacquaint him with second base, his longtime position before a move to first base in college. He continues to put in work at third base, where he appeared 16 times in Oakland last year, and he also makes time for outfield drills.

Video: OAK@TEX: Sogard, Muncy link up to steal hit, save run

He's likely to begin the season back in Nashville, but he hopes to leave an impression with his newfound versatility during camp.

"Every day, I'm working on a new position with Wash, and I think the plan is to spread me around a little bit to give me more opportunities to play," he said. "I'm excited about it. Wash was out there today killing me. But that's what he does best, and he loves doing it."

"It's unfortunate he got hurt in winter ball, but I think for him, having Ron Washington a second year, Wash is speaking very highly of him and how he's come accustomed to everything and really feels like he has better hands," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He's certainly a lot more confident playing third, and I know going into camp he's going to be even more confident because of the work he's put in with Wash. And he looks like he's in good shape, and I know he's eager to get out there and play in games."

Muncy "grew up a Rangers fan, so I loved watching [former Texas manager] Wash all those years there," he said. "My first day with him, I was kind of in shock, just the energy he brings. Just taking a ground ball, you do something right, he's all over you and pumping you up. He's like that every single day."

Around the horn
• A's catcher Stephen Vogt, recovering from right elbow surgery, threw out to 90 feet on Saturday with no issues. He also hit in the cage, swinging off a tee and engaging in soft toss.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.

Oakland Athletics, Max Muncy