Dodgers sign former top 2017 draft pick to minor-league contract

The Dodgers continue to add depth as they snagged a former first rounder to bolster the upper minors.

Lugnuts' Austin Beck scores off a hit by Brayan Buelvas in the second inning on Wednesday, April 6,
Lugnuts' Austin Beck scores off a hit by Brayan Buelvas in the second inning on Wednesday, April 6, / Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA
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When it comes to the MLB Draft, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been pretty lucky to get the amount of talent they have gotten from it. Sure, some first-round picks have been duds, but they have also yielded talents like Bobby Miller, Michael Busch, Will Smith, and Walker Buehler in recent years. Getting draft picks right in baseball is incredibly hard and it often takes years to find out if any given pick was the right one.

Austin Beck was picked sixth overall by Oakland in the 2017 draft and at the time was considered to be one of the more tooled up hitters in the entire draft. Royce Lewis did end up going No. 1 ahead of him amongst the prep bats, but his ceiling was thought to be to the moon. Unfortunately, that's not how things worked out

Since debuting in 2017, Beck's appeared in just 394 games and has had many abbrevicated campaigns due to injury. He briefly reached Triple-A with Oakland, but spent most of his time at High-A. The A's cut bait on Beck this offseason and allowed him to hit free agency after six years in the organization.

He has now found his way to the Dodgers on a minor league deal.

Dodgers ink Austin Beck to a minor-league deal

The logic from the Dodgers here is simple. Here you have an immensely talented player in Beck who they are getting for pennies on the dollar in the hopes that he figures something out. If he doesn't, it's no big loss and they can move on to different options. There is really only upside here for LA.

For Beck, it's a change of scenery that he could sorely need. Since being drafted in the first round by the Athletics, he has a career .252/.303/.384 slash line as he has struggled with strikeouts and making hard contact consistently. Compounding Beck's issues is that he missed all of last season with a torn ACL, but the Dodgers clearly saw something they still like and are willing to see if he can turn his career around.

Is Beck's signing likely to move the needle much? Absolutely not. In the vast majority of these cases, a guy just is who he is after 5+ seasons in the minor leagues. However, there's a chance this move turns into a huge boon for LA. If they can even get any improvement out of Beck, he could at least turn into a nice trade asset to flip at the deadline.

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