Baseball Prospect Journal

Maxwell Muncy has learned from Jack Wilson

Maxwell Muncyvcstar.com

Maxwell Muncy has played for Jack Wilson, who had a 12-year MLB career, during his career at Thousand Oaks High in California.

The former All-Star shortstop has coached at Thousand Oaks – his alma mater – since 2017. Muncy, a senior shortstop, has aspired to play professionally for as long as he can remember. To learn from someone who played at the game’s highest level has benefited Muncy.

Wilson has helped Muncy with his fundamentals offensively and defensively. He also has taught Muncy about the importance of the mental side. Muncy believes that part of his game is now his biggest strength.

“It is a lot mental side of the game that he’s helped me with,” Muncy said. “One thing that has been big for me is him helping me with my throwing. He told me on a ball hit in the hole to stop looking at the first baseman’s glove and pick a window around his head because then it’s going to slowly drop down as it gets to him. Aim small, miss small is what he always says.”

Under Wilson’s guidance, Muncy has developed into one of the country’s top prep players.

He garnered recruiting interest from some of the top programs in Division I college baseball before committing to the University of Arkansas in December 2019. While Arkansas remains a viable option, Muncy also is a highly-regarded prospect for July’s MLB draft.

Muncy is one of the top players in a deep prep shortstop class and likely will be an early-round pick in this year’s draft.

“I am lucky to be in this position,” Muncy said. “I enjoy it. It has been fun. Sometimes you catch yourself wondering what will happen, but you just have to wait until July. Right now, I am just doing what I can to prepare for either option. You have to keep your mind on preparing for college first, but if that draft opportunity comes, I think I’ll be ready.”

Muncy is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound right-handed hitter who uses a slightly open stance and sometimes a big leg kick as a timing mechanism. He drives the ball to all parts of the field and shows an ability to square up the baseball.

In the offseason, he tightened up his swing in hopes of displaying more consistency this spring. He projects as an impact hitter in pro ball who should add more power potential as he matures physically.

“I’m an aggressive player,” Muncy said. “I try to get ahead early and look for key pitches to hit. I am just ready to swing. Guys can’t always locate pitches like they want to at this age, so you have to hunt your pitch early.”

Defensively, Muncy believes he can stick at shortstop in the future. Some scouts feel he might be better suited at second or third base.

Muncy is a respectable runner and possesses solid arm strength. He has the athleticism and lateral movement to get to the ball in the holes. He also has quick transfers and makes accurate throws.

“I am biased because I live it, but I think I can stick at shortstop,” Muncy said. “Guys who have watched me for months and years have the belief that I can stay at shortstop. Once I get into college or the minor league system, the repetitions are really going to allow me to develop even more.”

Scouts rave about Muncy’s balanced set of tools. They hope to see him play at a high level this spring as they evaluate him in preparation for the draft.

While the draft is a possibility, Muncy also likes the idea of playing at an elite college baseball program in the game’s top conference. He narrowed down his college options down to Arkansas, Vanderbilt and BYU.

BYU intrigued Muncy, who is Mormon. He enjoyed his visit and all the individuals associated with the program but felt it was best to play at a Southeastern Conference school.

Arkansas’ history of developing players for pro ball and the fan support the program receives stood out to Muncy.

“I looked at a lot of schools, including SEC and local schools, like USC and UCLA,” Muncy said. “The reason I didn’t pick around here is that I like big crowds, and when I went out to those SEC schools, it just felt like it meant a lot more, which I enjoyed.”

Read more in-depth stories on top 2021 MLB draft prospects at Baseball Prospect Journal.

Video of Maxwell Muncy

Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for six years. He’s interviewed 253 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he’s appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

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