Legends On Deck

LOD’s 2018 Prospects: Los Angeles Dodgers – First Base

During the 2017-2018 offseason, we here at LOD are putting together a different kind of prospect list than you’re used to seeing. As opposed to typical prospect rankings, we are going position by position to give you the names to look out for in each organization in the upcoming season. You can view previous articles in this series here: Pitcher, Catcher

We continue to work our way around the diamond with the Los Angeles Dodgers as LOD brings you our prospect to watch at each position in the 2018 season. We’ve covered the battery, so today we start our journey around the infield by turning our attention to first base. Although the Dodgers are set at the position over the foreseeable future with 2017 National League Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger manning first, their system showcases even more talent behind him.

First Base – Matt Beaty – 2017 Team: Tulsa Drillers (Double-A)

2017 Statistics: .326/.378/.505, .883 OPS, 15 HR, 69 RBI

Before we begin, I need to preface this by stating that Matt Beaty isn’t exclusively a first baseman. He has played five different positions at the professional level, including one inning at second base, but he should be classified as a corner infielder. In fact, during his time as a pro, Beaty has played 138 games at first base and 138 games at third base. Since he spent the majority of his 2017 campaign at first, that is where we are classifying him for now.

The Snellville, GA native has been on a consistent tear since joining the Dodgers organization and as a result, has been steadily rising through the ranks. After he was taken in the 12th round of the 2015 draft out of Belmont University, the Dodgers let Beaty get his feet wet in Rookie ball for six games before sending him to Single-A Great Lakes where he slashed .297/.353/.390 while striking out only 10.3% of the time. Beaty would get a promotion in 2016 to Advanced-A where he would post similar numbers against tougher pitching.
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Beaty really broke out in 2017 as a member of the Double-A Tulsa Drillers. He improved in virtually every offensive category while managing to split time at first and third defensively. (You can see those eye-popping numbers above.) The left-handed hitting Beaty managed to add 80 points to his slugging percentage and a whopping 105 points to his OPS from 2016. He provided this kind of production while managing to strike out at a rate of just 11.2%. Beaty posted a wRC+ of 147, good enough to lead all Texas League hitters and earn League MVP honors.

Beaty, listed at 6’0 210 pounds, is a very athletic player that has taken a lot of pride in developing his approach at the plate. He doesn’t have off the charts bat speed, but still has a lot of pop in his swing. He takes a step forward in the box with his front leg when he gathers and uses his entire body to drive through the ball. Defensively he can play pretty much any corner of the field, both infield and outfield, but I think he profiles best at first. The best part of Beaty’s game is his mental make up. You can tell this is what he loves to do and he shows up every day at the ballpark ready to compete. He plays the game with passion and his work ethic is proof that he is dedicated to his craft. When you hear this guy speak about baseball and watch him play, trust me, you will become an instant fan.

Check back tomorrow as we bring you our pick for the Dodgers second baseman to keep up with in 2018.

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