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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Appreciates Matt Beaty’s Smarts

The rookie has stepped up for Los Angeles whenever pressed into duty.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 20: Matt Beaty #45 of the Los Angeles Dodgers watches as the ball clears the wall for a three run home run in the eighth inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Dodger Stadium on July 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Before this season, Matt Beaty wasn’t quite a household name amongst Dodgers fans. He entered the season having fallen into to fringe prospect territory after an injury riddled 2018 season. However, Beaty opened eyes in spring training for the Dodgers in 2019.

Manager Dave Roberts mentioned that he only knew “the basics” of Beaty in camp. Now Matt Beaty is a player Roberts and the team relies on in key situations, and with the game on the line. “Baters Taters” has the trust and appreciation of his manager.

What I learned to really appreciate about him is his baseball IQ and his willingness to hunt pitches and make adjustments whether it be in an at-bat or game to game based on how people are pitching him. That’s something, for me, that I’ve grown to appreciate. — via Bill Plunkett, OC Register.

Baseball IQ isn’t something readily taught in the minor leagues, it’s a gift. Moreover, it’s a gift that not every player has. In a multitude of game situations and team stats, Beaty appears to pass the eye test.

  • He’s batting .400 with runners in scoring position
  • He bats .348 in “high leverage” situations
  • He’s second on the team in pinch hit RBI
  • He strikes out the least on the team (11.2%)
  • He leads the team in productive out percentage
  • He’s third on the team in win probability added

Are these random? Sure. Are they cherry picked? Not exactly. Just painting an underlying picture of a player that helps his team win ballgames in more than the obvious ways.

In his rookie campaign, the 26 year-old is batting .279 with a 111 wRC+ and 9 home runs in 89 mostly unexpected games. He’s also added versatility by starting at 4 different positions on the field.

With Alex Verdugo likely out for at least the first round of the playoffs, Beaty’s ticket to October baseball is all but punched. But the best part is that he’s earned it.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

One Comment

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  1. Yes he has earned a playoff spot for sure. If there is 1 fly in his ointment it is his hitting against LHP. Sound familiar with Joc? But to be fair, Beaty has not been given many chances at all against them, so it is actually too small a sample size to determine that he cannot hit LHP.

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