After being drafted in the fifth round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft by Oakland, Max Muncy impressed at Class A Burlington with his hitting and on-base skills. But with just four home runs in 64 games, questions remained about his power.
Through four games at Class A Advanced Stockton, Muncy's addressed that concern. The first baseman hit two homers Sunday in a 12-8 win over Bakersfield, giving him three roundtrippers on the season.
The Ports hit six homers Sunday, one shy of a California League record. Four of the shots flew out of the park in the fifth inning.
Muncy kicked off the barrage with a solo shot to right field in the first. Then in the third, trailing 4-1, he smacked a three-run homer again to right to tie the game.
Bakersfield jumped back ahead, 5-4, on Dominic D'Anna's homer in the fourth, but Stockton went ahead for good in the fifth. Dusty Robinson started off with a two-run shot to center. After Muncy walked and Tony Thompson doubled, B.A. Vollmuth cranked a three-run shot to left. Bobby Crocker and Wade Kirkland added solo shots to cap the seven-run inning.
Stockton has 12 home runs as a team this season, double the next best total in the California League (Lancaster), and by far, the most in the Minor Leagues to date (Syracuse is second with eight homers).
For Muncy, the power surge is a promising sign. The Baylor product had a .275 average and .383 on-base percentage in the Midwest League last season, but his .432 slugging percentage and lack of homers were disappointing for a first baseman. His approach and discipline are strong, evidenced by the 41 walks and 37 strikeouts he had in his 229 at-bats last year.
Through four games this season, the left-handed hitter is hitting .500 with a .588 on-base percentage and 1.250 slugging percentage.
With the win, Stockton completed a four-game sweep of Bakersfield to begin the season. Tanner Peters (1-0) picked up the victory after allowing five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits over five innings.
James Allen (0-1) took the loss for the Blaze, allowing 10 earned runs on nine hits -- including five home runs -- in 4 2/3 innings.