Among the several rookies to make significant contributions for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season was Matt Beaty, who impressed the club with his versatility and ability to deliver a quality at-bat off the bench.
Beaty earned his first MLB promotion at the end of April and promptly recorded a pinch-hit single against the San Francisco Giants in his debut. He shuffled back-and-forth from Triple-A Oklahoma City and the Majors until establishing a permanent role for himself on the Dodgers active roster in June.
Beaty continued to impress as the season progressed, thriving against right-handed pitching while appearing at four different positions. He now hopes to make a similar impact for the Dodgers as he enters what could potentially be his first full season in the big leagues.
As Cactus League play progresses, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed that Beaty is a prime candidate to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Roberts said Beaty has the inside track for a bench job because he can play the position. “His ability to come off the bench and hit, the ability to play well against right-handed pitching and I feel good with him on defense,” Roberts said of Beaty. “Inside track [for a job], I think is fair.”
In 99 games last season, Beaty hit a respectable .265/.317/.458 with 19 doubles, one triple, nine home runs, 46 RBI and five stolen bases across 268 plate appearances. He especially thrived in the clutch, posting a 1.067 on-base plus slugging percentage with runners in scoring position.
Beaty’s success led to him being included on the Dodgers’ National League Division Series roster. He appeared in four of the five games against the Washington Nationals, going 3-for-8 while earning starts in the final two contests.
Beaty often worked out at Dodger Stadium over the winter with a goal of becoming even more versatile. He has received more opportunities at third base this spring, which could be where Beaty spends much of 2020 as the primary backup to Justin Turner.
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