Dodgers: Could Matt Beaty Be the Next Big Dodger Breakout?
Beaty has not been known for his power as a prospect, at least not in games. According to Fangraphs, Beaty has a 45/50 in-game power rating with a 55/55 raw power rating and 50/55 hit tool. To put those numbers in perspective, Cody Bellinger broke into the league with a 40/60 in-game power rating and 60/70 raw power rating, which seems to bode favorably for Beaty.
If any team could help Beaty realize some of this power that is currently locked away, it would be the Dodgers, as has been proven with Bellinger, Taylor, Muncy and even with Joc Pederson.
Beaty has a quick bat and generally pulls most of his hits, with a 58.6% pull rate (though he’s only been in the majors for less than 30 games). His pull rate during his Double-A Texas League Player of the Year season in 2017, in which he popped 15 homers while hitting a scorching .326, was 46.5% and he was able to hit the ball the other way just over 30% of the time.
Thus far (again in a small sample size) Beaty has hit just 13.8% of his contact the other way, leading to a shift already being employed against him at the MLB level.
Other than the pull-heaviness he has displayed in the majors, Beaty has hit similarly to as he has in the minor leagues over the past few seasons, though not quite exactly the same. Importantly, Beaty has hit fewer flyballs (20/7%) than he has at any other level in as many plate appearances, while also hitting more line drives and groundballs as a result.
Potentially, if Beaty could find a way to lift the ball more, he would have more chances to make good on his solid 16.7% HR/FB. With Beaty having a perfect raw power score, his chances of celebrating really could increase as long as he commits to elevating. While he has walked a few percentage points less and struck out a few percentage points more, this could correct itself over time as he gains more experience seeing major league pitching.
In all, Beaty has not been at the major league level long enough to judge whether or not he is hitting differently or not, but thus far he has hit fewer balls in the air, helping his batting average but hurting his power numbers.