The Royals have signed first baseman/outfielder Matt Beaty to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training, according to MLB.com reporter Mark Feinsand. Beaty is a left-handed bat who has hit .249/.320/.405 with 18 home runs in 603 plate appearances in parts of four seasons with the Dodgers and Padres. Last year he was limited to just 20 games with the Padres due to a shoulder injury. Prior to that he was a valuable bench performer for the Dodgers, hitting 4-for-19 in post-season play for them over the years.
The Royals originally drafted Beaty out of high school in Tennessee, but he opted to attend Belmont University instead. The Dodgers chose him in the 12th round of the 2015 draft and he was in the big leagues by 2019, when he had his best season, hitting .265/.317/.458 with 9 home runs in 268 plate appearances. He turns 30 years old in April.
Beaty doesn’t strike out much, and has decent power. He is capable of playing the corner outfield positions, although his defensive metrics there aren’t good. He has even filled in at third base on occasion. Most likely he will serve in a reserve role, possibly as a hedge in case Nick Pratto isn’t ready to play first base to begin the season. The Royals traded first baseman Ryan O’Hearn to the Orioles last week, and Beaty replaces him as a left-handed first base bat with some pop.