With outfielder A.J. Pollock, likely going on the injured list, the Dodgers will have a hole on their roster. President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman has placed such an emphasis on depth so they have a few players to choose from. The ideal player is someone with versatility who doesn’t need everyday at-bats since Verdugo should be getting them.
Beaty is a 26-year-old, left-handed hitting corner infielder who impressed a bit in spring training. Aside from giving him his usual time at first and third base, the Oklahoma City Dodgers have also used him for 48 innings in left field, so the positional versatility would be nice for the bench. He hasn’t been lighting AAA up but he has been solid, posting a .277/.355/.434 slash line through 83 at-bats. Beaty, who is known for his on-base skills, hit .277/.378/.406 in an injury-filled season last year. Without the injuries, Beaty would have likely made his debut already. He doesn’t have star upside, but he can be a major league caliber player for any team.
Happy birthday, Matt Beaty!
The birthday boy swats a three-run homer to deep right field, giving the Dodgers a 3-0 lead in the 3rd inning! pic.twitter.com/cmr4cTqGpI
— Oklahoma City Dodgers (@okc_dodgers) April 28, 2019
Plus it was just his birthday.
Rios is a pretty similar option to Beaty, except with more power. He’s a 25-year-old, left-handed hitting corner infielder and corner outfielder, and he’s one of the Dodgers’ higher ranked prospects. So far in 2019, he has really struggled at the plate, hitting .221/.256/.349 with a 33.3 percent K%. Just last season, Rios hit .304/.355/.482 in 309 AAA at-bats so the potential is there. He likely just needs some more time to correct his problem.
Yes, Rocky Gale is still on the 40-man roster. The 31-year-old catcher just had a brief stint with the Dodgers while Russell Martin was out. In the four games he played, he hit .143/.143/.143 and was worth -0.2 wins above replacement. He’s an option since Barnes and Martin both have the versatility to move around but Gale probably shouldn’t see the roster again.
Smith, one of the Dodgers top prospects, is a 24-year-old catcher with versatility. Unlike the other options, they would need to add him to the 40-man roster (DFA Gale). In his baseball career, he has played almost every position but he has primarily focused on catching, third base, and second base in the Dodgers’ organization. His versatility would allow them to continue getting creative with their lineups. Mostly known as a defense-first, contact hitting catcher coming out of college, Smith has developed some power in his bat. Right now, he is lighting up AAA pitching with a .271/.405/.508 slash line. He should debut this year, and the sooner the better. The chance he gets called up isn’t great, but it would be a lot of fun.
Beaty is probably the safest and the most likely option to get called up. They wouldn’t have to DFA anyone since he’s already on the 40-man roster and he’s a solid player with versatility. Giving him a look to see what he can do makes a lot of sense right now. At some point soon, Smith needs to be called up, but he also needs to play every day. Beaty is the correct choice right now.
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