Dodgers: Dave Roberts Appreciates Matt Beaty’s Smarts

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.

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