Max Muncy watched only a handful of Dodgers games last October. He had spent the season as a member of the Dodgers organization, but not a day as a Dodger. Unable to earn a promotion from triple-A Oklahoma City, Muncy was unsure if he would re-sign over the winter. If the playoffs aired early in the day, he caught snippets at his home outside Dallas. He skipped the late-night drama of the pennant chase.
A year later, as the lights flickered over Dodger Stadium for the first postseason game of 2018, Muncy occupied his regular place in the center of the Dodgers lineup. He had traveled from a minor league obscurity to the cornerstone of a big league lineup, and he played an integral role in a 6-0 drubbing of the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the National League Division Series, as a collection of overshadowed figures from last season shared the spotlight.