Of the nine players to make their MLB debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers this season, Matt Beaty was second in line to do so and he appeared in the most games amongst his fellow first-year teammates.
Beaty joined the Dodgers at the end of April and after time on the 10-day injured list and a couple stints back with Triple-A Oklahoma City, stuck with the Major League team for good from the middle of July.
He primarily played first base for the Dodgers but steadily began to receive more opportunities in left field and during September also expanded to play third base. Regardless of position, Beaty continued to produce quality and productive at-bats behind a steady approach.
While the 26-year-old was in the midst of an impressive season, he explained why the early career success wasn’t necessarily considered a surprise during an appearance on “Lunchtime with Roggin and Rodney,” via AM 570 L.A. Sports:
“I mean, I’m confident in myself. I knew what I was capable of, but you never know what to expect once you get to The Show. To say that I’m surprised by what I’m doing, I’d be lying to myself if I said that I was, because I’m confident in what my abilities are. At the same time, yeah, it’s been a really good year for me. It’s a lot of fun. I enjoy going to that ballpark every day, going to the clubhouse and playing in front of these fans.”
Beaty finished the year batting .265/.317/.458 with 19 doubles, one triple, nine home runs and 46 RBI over 99 games. He was 8-for-30 with one double, one home run and six RBI as a pinch-hitter.
One of Beaty’s memorable highlights was a walk-off home run against the Colorado Rockies. It marked the start of the the Dodgers setting an MLB record behind rookies delivering a walk-off homer in three consecutive games. Beaty later was one four Dodgers rookies to be included on the National League Division Series active roster.
He went 3-for-8 while appearing in four games, which included starting in each of the last two against the Washington Nationals.
“When you get up here the expectation, the pressure to perform, it matters, it’s about development,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said during the postseason.
“So when you get a young player that is familiar with a lot of things that we do in an organization and sometimes more versed than the big league players are, it makes the transition much easier.
“I think that just the guys that we get, from scouting to identify players and our minor league outfield coordinator Tarrik Brock told me we want S.A.T. players: smart, athletic, and tough. So we have a lot of S.A.T. players. To have those type of players and have that intelligence, they can handle a lot.
“We have done a good job as an organization, just the cohesiveness from the Minor League player development side to the big league side, whether it be verbiage, communication, talking to each other, putting eyes on one another during the season, Spring Training.
“And so having guys over in the Minor League games and having them in camp. So it’s just the familiarity, we do a really good job of that, and we just feel that it gives these young players the best chance to perform at a high level.”