Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers emphasize depth perhaps more than any organization in baseball, and that was evident during the shortened 2020 season as they used a total 38 players throughout the year.
Among those that saw time at the Major League level was Matt Beaty, who had put together a solid rookie campaign in 2019. The 27-year-old earned a spot on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster this year but was the last position player to get into a game.
He made his 2020 debut as a pinch-hitter against the Houston Astros on July 29, going 0-for-2 with a strikeout. Beaty would not record his first hit of the season until Aug. 1. He struggled as a whole early on, going 2-for-20 over his first 10 games.
Beaty turned a corner toward the middle of August, leaning on the advice of former teammate David Freese. He collected nine hits over his final 30 at-bats of the season, raising his batting average by 110 points during the 11-game stretch.
“Freeser talked to me a lot about that last year,” Beaty said at the start of his hot streak. “Just watching the game and how the pitcher attacks guys in front of you and what’s he landing for strikes, how’s he moving his fastball in and out of the zone, up, down, whatever it is.
“Going up there with a game plan helps a lot. I talked to him right before the season started. Just congratulating him for a newborn. He’s a great teammate, he’s missed this year for sure, but I think he’s doing alright.”
In 21 regular-season games, Beaty hit .220/.278/.360 with one double, two home runs and five RBI over 54 trips to the plate.
He was included on all four of the Dodgers’ postseason rosters, but only received three plate appearances in the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves, going hitless with a walk.
On Aug. 16 against the L.A. Angels, Beaty got the start in the second game of a doubleheader at Angel Stadium. He promptly notched three hits, including a home run and scored two runs in four plate appearances.
Beaty remains under the Dodgers’ control through the 2025 season and isn’t eligible for arbitration until 2023. He figures to again receive Major League opportunities next year, likely in his usual role as a left-handed bat off the bench.
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