The Royals are in agreement on a minor league contract with first baseman/outfielder Matt Beaty, tweets Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. Beaty, a client of the Ballengee Group, will be invited to Major League Spring Training.
Beaty, 29, has spent his entire career to date in the National League West. A 12th-round pick by the Dodgers back in 2015, he made his debut with Los Angeles four years later and appeared in the Majors with the Dodgers each season from 2019-21. The Dodgers designated Beaty for assignment and traded him to the Padres last winter, but Beaty appeared in just 20 games and took only 47 plate appearances with San Diego.
The 2022 season proved to be the least productive of Beaty’s big league career, although small-sample caveats obviously apply. In those 47 trips to the plate, he went 4-for-43 with a double and a triple. That’s a far cry from Beaty’s generally solid production in three years with L.A., which saw him post a combined .262/.333/.425 batting line in 556 plate appearances. On the whole, Beaty is a .249/.320/.405 hitter in 603 Major League plate appearances, and he carries a solid .290/.383/.407 batting line in 435 plate appearances at the Triple-A level as well.
Defensively, Beaty has experience at all four corner positions, though he’s barely played any third base over the past few years. He’s primarily a first baseman and left fielder at this juncture, and given that he, like Kansas City first basemen Vinnie Pasquantino and Nick Pratto, swings left-handed, he’ll likely have a hard time getting into the lineup at first base.
The outfield mix in Kansas City is far less settled, however. Michael A. Taylor will reprise his role as the everyday center fielder, barring a trade, but the corner-outfield picture is fairly muddy at present. Veteran Hunter Dozier could mix in on occasion, and the Royals also have younger options in the form of Kyle Isbel, Edward Olivares and prospects Drew Waters and Nate Eaton all on the 40-man roster. Each of Eaton, Dozier and Olivares bats right-handed, while Isbel is a lefty and Waters is a switch-hitter.
There’s perhaps room for Beaty to find his way into that crowded mix — particularly if the Royals are more bullish on his ability to return to the hot corner on occasion. If he doesn’t crack the big league roster this spring, he’ll likely head to Triple-A Omaha and give the Royals some depth with a pretty decent track record both in Triple-A and the Majors — last year’s dismal results with the Friars notwithstanding.