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Los Angeles’ Surplus of Power Hitting Left-Handed Prospects

Dodgers
Feb 24, 2018; Surprise, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Matt Beaty (84) is congratulated after hitting a home run during the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret at this point that the Dodgers are extremely left-handed heavy on their offense. It’s one of the reasons that the team has been so susceptible to left-handed pitching over the past couple of years. And from the looks of it, the lineup may not be balancing out any time soon.

In choosing to add Matt Beaty and Edwin Rios to the 40-man roster, the team has committed to having a left-handed heavy roster for the foreseeable future. That is of course unless they are protecting these guys to use them as trade bait. Rios and Beaty rank as the Dodgers’ 13th and 20th ranked prospects respectively.

Rios spent most of his time playing 1st and 3rd at Triple-A, with a  few innings spent in the outfield. The team has tried to move him around on defense since he is blocked by Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger moving forward. His bat is really the difference maker in deciding to keep him on the 40-man roster. Rios hit 51 homeruns between 2016 and 2017 and added ten more in a limited 2018 campaign. He has also hit 305 over his last three seasons, playing at three minor league levels. Rios will turn 25 in April of 2019.

Beaty profiles much like Rios does. He adjusted his swing to hit for more power but does not play exceptional defense anywhere on the field aside from the corner infield spots. He, like Rios, is blocked by Turner and Bellinger. Beaty had to sit out most of the 2018 season with a torn thumb ligament and intercostal strain. At the Double-A level in 2017, he slashed 326/378/505 with 15 home runs. That year resulted in him taking home Texas League MVP honors. Beaty will be 26 in April of 2019.

Moving Forward

The Dodgers have to make a decision on these guys sooner rather than later. They both look to be major league ready and it would be a waste to keep them at the minor league level. This is especially true when considering their ages. With Turner and Bellinger cemented at the corner infield spots, I would be looking to trade these guys before the 2019 season kicks off. There are plenty of teams out there looking to acquire young power hitters, so Beaty and Rios could go quickly.

While they may not be a centerpiece around a JT Realmuto type trade, it will be interesting to see what sort of return the pair could net.

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Rios makes sense to an AL team in need of a first baseman who can also DH. I have always liked Beaty as a utility type player, puts the bat on the ball and passable defense. A team that trades for Beaty will be getting a good ball player for support role.

  2. Cody Bellinger cemented A’s a corner infield spot??? I don’t think so unless the Dodgers trade Max Muncy. Bellinger will play mostly centerfield.
    1B Muncy
    2B Taylor/Hernandez (unless Gennette is traded for)
    3B Turner
    SS Seager
    C Realmuto (somehow I believe this trade happens)
    LF Pederson/Toles/Kemp (Kemp probably gets traded)
    CF Bellinger
    RF Puig (but Puig probably traded to make room for Harper or Stanton in a trade so Yankees can get Harper)

    P Kershaw/Buehler/Ryu/Hill/Maeda/Stripling

    RP Jansen / Kelly / Ferguson / Floro / Fields / Cingrani / Baez

    • Honestly Muncy can be dealt in a package to fill other needs IMHO. I realize many like seeing Bellinger in the OF,but if he could return to 1st where he began his career, that in itself would ease up the OF log jam but not much, as the team still needs to move at least 2 OF off the roster.

  3. This says it all and it’s what I have been basically saying for the last few years. It’s no secret at this point that the Dodgers are extremely left-handed heavy on their offense. It’s one of the reasons that the team has been so susceptible to left-handed pitching over the past couple of years. And from the looks of it, the lineup may not be balancing out any time soon. Dodgers claim to have depth and resources, so there is NO reason to be over balanced with LHB. But they can deal some of these LHB, like Muncy for example, because in 2019 just about every team will throw as many LHP as possible at this team, especially in light of how Dodgers failed miserable in the WS against the LHP of Boston.

  4. Involve Puig Kemp Pederson and Muncy in trades to reduce the amount of prospect capital required, Aquire Abreu for 1B, sign Harper. Now you have an outfield of Verdugo Bellinger Harper. An infield of Turner Seager Taylor/Kike and Abreu with Barnes at C. This makes the lineup an even 4 righties and 4 lefties and also drains the swamp of some all or nothing hitters bringing a solid balanced hitting lineup

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