Just days after being named the league’s Most Valuable Player, corner infield prospect Matt Beaty continued to rake in the accolades for the Dodgers‘ farm system by winning the Texas League batting title once all the dust settled on the regular season schedule.
Beaty became the first-ever Drillers‘ player to snag the honor, and is the first Tulsa player to win a batting title since Mike Easler did in for the Triple-A Oilers in the American Assocation in 1976. In a three-man race that came down to the final day of the season, Beaty passed center fielder B.J. Boyd of Midland and ultimately finished percentage points ahead of Arkansas outfielder Ian Miller, who had recently been promoted to Triple-A Tacoma.
The left-handed hitting Beaty finished the year with a .326/.378/.505 slash line, along with 31 doubles, 15 long balls and 69 RBI over 438 AB.
Beaty grew up in Dresden, Tennessee, and after a prominent career at Dresden High, decided to attend Belmont University in nearby Nashville. Following his All-American senior year at Belmont, Beaty was selected by the Dodgers in the 12th round of the 2015 MLB Draft.
The Dodgers drafted Beaty with the intentions of utilizing him as a catcher, however, his skills at the corner infield spots have proved to be his most valuable assets. To further show his versatility, he has also appeared in a handful of games in both left and right field for Tulsa this season.
He’s currently the 30th ranked prospect in the entire Los Angeles system.
TBPC had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Matt in late June. At that time, while noting that a few personal achievements would have been a bit gratifying, he emphasized that his main focus was to continuously improve his game, and to help Tulsa clinch a spot in the Texas League playoffs.
“Obviously, there are some personal achievements that would be great to get. For me. I just want to keep proving that I belong in the organization,” he explained. “I just try to play hard and have fun and the numbers will take care of themselves.”
Beaty and the Drillers continue their storybook season this week when they travel to NW Arkansas to open the Texas League playoffs with a best-of-five series against the Naturals.
The opener is scheduled for Wednesday evening with a 7:05 p.m. local time first pitch.
(Follow Dennis on Twitter: @thinkbluepc)