The Dodgers’ outfield will soon be hit by a roster crunch when Alex Verdugo returns from the IL. It shouldn’t stop Beaty from getting more starts over Joc.
With September 1st just days away, the Dodgers will soon be at full strength which means another roster crunch, this time in the outfield. While nobody will need to be demoted with the final season of 40 man rosters in September, playing time will be at a premium for several Dodgers.
Lately one of those players has been Matt Beaty with the Dodgers facing a group of left-handed starting pitching. Like Pederson, Beaty has not hit lefties well although the sample size is small for Matt. That is where the similarities end between the two left-handed sluggers. Pederson is a streaky power hitter, while Beaty is more of a contact hitter with surprising pop.
Joc had an OPS above .800 in April and May but then that dipped below .600 in June and below .700 in July. August had also been a slow month for Pederson until the last few games where he hit home runs against the Yankees and Padres. When Joc is hot he can carry the offense for a few games, but when he is cold, he is one of the most unproductive players on the roster.
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Matt Beaty, on the other hand, has been consistent all season for the Dodgers. Since a slow May in which he had an OPS of just .538, Beaty has been very consistent since June putting up an OPS of .819, .975, and 1.011 from June to August. His arrow is pointing up and he continues to deliver in the clutch for LA.
Outside of his walk-off base hits, Beaty has a .429 average and .755 slugging percentage with runners in scoring position. Joc, on the other hand, has a .268 average and .561 slugging percentage with runners in scoring position. Beaty is also the much tougher at-bat for opposing pitchers striking out just 12.8% of the time where Joc strikes out 22.1% of the time.
When the Dodgers are back to full strength, Dave Roberts may choose to play Cody Bellinger at first base with Alex Verdugo and Joc Pederson at the corner outfield spots. That would be a mistake as Beaty is a better hitter than Joc right now. Matt would also help reinforce a patient approach at the plate in the postseason, where Joc would be another strikeout prone power hitter.
It’s been quite the season for Matt Beaty who went from a mid-range prospect to the Dodgers’ biggest surprise contributor in 2019. All the guy does it hit, even with a low walk rate he continues to hit for average and surprise with his power every once in a while. Going forward, Beaty should start over Joc Pederson.