Perhaps one of the bigger surprises from the Dodgers on their 28-man Wild Card roster was the resurfacing of infielder Matt Beaty. Then again, it was a shocker when he was sent to the alternate site at the beginning of September.
Then again… again, it was apparent then that the second year player wasn’t quite in the plans for Los Angeles. His playing time was sporadic in 2020 and with that, so was his bat. Unable to get into a groove, the contact hitter struggled to the tune of a .220 batting average in 21 games (only 14 starts).
Now he’s back where he belongs and he’s happy to be there, as he told SportsNet LA’s Alanna Rizzo before Wednesday’s game.
It’s great. I’m excited to be here. Obviously, we have a really good group of guys in that clubhouse, a lot of talented players, a lot of really good people. So, it’s just nice to be here and compete with the guys and we all have the same goal and one thing on our mind and today is day number one of it.
If you’re looking at the numbers like many have, it’s sort of a pick your poison situation when it came to picking between Beaty and another struggling infielder in Gavin Lux. The Dodgers top prospect couldn’t get his bat on track in 2020. After a late arrival to the spring training restart in July, he was optioned back to the alternate site as well. When he finally did get his call to the bigs, he couldn’t capitalize. Over 69 plate appearances, Lux posted a well below average .655 OPS with 3 home runs.
So why Beaty? Experience.
The 27-year-old was just above league average 102 wRC+ in his rookie 2019 season. He also found success in the postseason with 3 hits in 8 NLDS at-bats against Washington. And with that Matt feels ready to roll for the 2020 playoffs.
I think the familiarity with the postseason. I got my feet wet last year — try not to put too much pressure on yourself, just go up there, kinda be in your own bubble in the box and be locked in and try to get a good pitch to hit because the pitcher’s got a lot of pressure on him too.
He may be the just about the last man on the roster, but don’t count out Bater’s Taters.