Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Welcome to the Blue, Matt Beaty!

As you all know, AJ Pollock is headed towards to Injured List due to right elbow inflammation, so speculation all morning centered around who would be called up to take his place on the roster.

Top prospect Edwin Rios was a possibility, but he hasn't exactly been tearing it up in Oklahoma -- slashing a measly .221/.256/.349/.604 so far. Another name to consider is outfielder Kyle Garlick. He's been a consist bat since being drafted by the club in 2015, and is currently slashing a modest .254/.375/.493/.868 in Triple-A. For out of the box thinkers, the name Will Smith comes to mind. He's one of our top catching prospects, who happens to also play a little bit of the infield. Although he doesn't appear to have much outfield experience, maybe a 'cup of coffee' for the youngster would be warranted.

As it turns out, though none of the three above were chosen. It is outfielder/infielder Matt Beaty who will be joining the Dodgers. Per a Dodgers press release:
Beaty, 26, was the 12th round selection by the Dodgers in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Belmont University. The former Belmont Bruin has been with the Dodger organization for five seasons and this will be his first Major League promotion after being added to the 40-man roster on November 20, 2018. In five minor league seasons, he is a .307 (427-for-1390) hitter with 33 homers and 209 RBI across five different levels. Prior to the promotion, Beaty was batting .277 (23-for-83) with two homers and 10 RBI in 22 games for Oklahoma City.
You can also follow Matt on twitter here: @matt_beatybu. On a side note, Matt missed much of the 2018 season due to a torn UCL ligament in his thumb, but that didn't stop the Dodgers from placing him on their 40-man roster later in the year. Furthermore, I think he was slated to get his 'cup of coffee' last season, but surgery stopped that from happening. So, in some ways this call-up was due.

As for a scouting report, Matt is currently ranked the Dodgers 29th prospect by MLB Pipeline:
Beaty increased his OPS in each of his four years at Belmont, batting .382/.469/.668 as a senior in 2015 and becoming the highest-drafted player in Bruins history when the Dodgers grabbed him in the 12th round. He broke out in 2017, winning the Texas League MVP award and leading the Double-A circuit in batting (.326) and OPS (.883). An intercostal strain and a torn thumb ligament ruined his encore, limiting him to just 34 games last year. 
With a disciplined approach and quality hand-eye coordination, Beaty makes repeated line-drive contact to all fields. He made some adjustments to his left-handed swing in mid-2017 that allowed him to drive the ball more often for some pull power, but he still stands out more for his hitting and on-base ability than as a home run threat. He has struggled against left-handers in the upper Minors, so he'll have to adapt or risk being tagged as a platoon player. 
A fringy runner with an average arm, Beaty has split most of his career between first base and third base. He's a decent defender at either corner and also has made brief appearances at second base, left field and right field as a pro. He also did some catching as an amateur and his versatility will come in handy as he tries to crack a Los Angeles roster with an overload of corner-infield options.
I found another scouting report, via Baseball Census, who said this about him:
Good hitter with sneaky power and surprisingly strong contact skills but lacking in athleticism and without a true defensive position at the big league level. He seems destined for a bench/super utility role with consistent pinch-hit at-bats at the big league level thanks to significant value in his bat and the ability to move around the field as necessary. As loaded as the Los Angeles Dodgers are right now at infield corners and with starting outfielders, Matt Beaty could find a productive role as an over-achieving bench/utility guy at ceiling beginning at some point in 2018, with a floor in an up-and-down role over the next several seasons.
In celebration of his first trip to the Majors I made two fantasy Baseball cards that you can see at the very top.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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