2021 Los Angeles Dodgers Player Reviews: Matt Beaty
Matt Beaty
Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports

After some regression during the 2020 season, Matt Beaty bounced back to produce off the bench for the Los Angeles Dodgers near the same level as his debut campaign.

However, Beaty found it difficult to crack the lineup with any sort of regularity and was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City in late August. At the time, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts noted it was merely a byproduct of a roster crunch with a player who still had Minor League options.

“He’s done everything I’ve asked of him, so it’s just more of a player that has options, gets to take at-bats every day, and hopefully we can get him back at some point,” Roberts said of Beaty. “Very difficult, because he’s a Major League player.”

After getting recalled Sept. 10, Beaty appeared in 15 of 21 games to finish out the regular season. But he made just one start — and only as a replacement to Gavin Lux being a late scratch due to getting hit by a pitch from a pitching machine.

“I like Matt Beaty on the bench,” Roberts explained late last year. “I don’t see him as a defender. I see him taking a great at-bat against a right-hander.”

Beaty’s production as a pinch-hitter was key considering the Dodgers’ bench collectively struggled to find any sort of consistency. He finished the season batting .270/.363/.402 with four doubles, seven home runs and 40 RBI over 120 games (45 starts).

Beaty would later admit to being frustrated by his demotion, and weeks after the 2021 season concluded, it was determined he missed qualifying for salary arbitration via Super Two status by one day of Major League service time.

Beaty’s 2021 highlight

With the Dodgers reeling and on the verge of being swept by the Milwaukee Brewers, Beaty combined with AJ Pollock to help the team salvage the series.

Beaty went 4-for-6 with a first career grand slam and seven RBI. He and Pollock (eight) combined for the first time in Dodgers franchise history they had two players drive in at least seven runs in the same game.

Yasiel Puig (seven RBI) and Cody Bellinger (six) were closest to accomplishing the feat on Sept. 15, 2018.

2022 outlook

Although Beaty has played first base, third base, left field and right field, all signs point to the Dodgers preferring to utilize him as a near-exclusive pinch-hitter. He should again provide some production off the bench this season and could expand to semi-regular starts if a universal designated is implemented.

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