Bruin skipper would take more like Beaty
Posted: Friday, July 27, 2012 12:00 pm
By KEVIN WEAKS
Belmont baseball head coach Dave Jarvis was asked for his thoughts on former Dresden standout player and current Bruin team member Matt Beaty.
He answered with a question of his own.
“Can you send me six more just like him?”
Yes, the freshman’s impact on a team coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2011 was that good.
Jarvis saw Beaty’s potential while recruiting the Dresden High School product.
“We saw a player with a very high level of talent who could be an offensive force right away,” the head coach said. “We felt he could be in the middle of our lineup before the end of the season and, of course, he was. He was one of our top offensive producers.”
Beaty led the Bruins in three offensive categories and ranked among the team’s top five in 18 total positive offensive areas.
He topped the squad with 46 runs batted in, seven home runs and five triples.
Beaty finished the year with a .256 batting average with 60 hits. He walked 25 times and struck out 24 and had 104 total bases.
Beaty completed his freshman season with a .444 slugging percentage and a .331 on-base percentage.
While those numbers are certainly impressive, Jarvis believes the sky’s the limit for Beaty. He can already see evidence that Beaty is on the verge of making another big step forward in his skills.
“We tweaked a few things with him, and he has a deeper understanding about what he wants to accomplish in an at-bat,” Jarvis said. “He has a better plan, so to speak, and I feel in the next six to nine months, we’re going to see another several levels of jumps in him as a hitter. It takes that to get to the next level.”
It takes a lot of other things, too. Jarvis points to Beaty’s many intangibles that carried him through the highs and lows of his first collegiate baseball season.
“He has a tremendous work ethic, and he’s a high character kid,” Jarvis said. “He’s going to be a leader for us as he progresses. He’s a quiet leader. He’s not a loud, rah-rah guy, but he wants to be in the situation with the game on the line, whether that means being at the plate or wanting the ball hit to him on defense. He’s that type of guy, and that’s very impressive to me.”
Beaty went through his share of struggles early in the season, but the hard work that put him in the lineup kept him through some hitless games.
“Matt had some growing pains in the early part of the year,” Jarvis said. “His talents and abilities allowed us to keep him in the lineup. Even when he was struggling, he was producing in RBI situations or in the clutch. That rolled over into more confidence for him.
“You can take that type of work ethic, that type of character, that type of attitude when things aren’t going right and you can win a lot of baseball games with several of those guys on your team.”
Jarvis says Beaty’s bat will keep him in the heart of the lineup next season. His defensive versatility will result in moving around to several different positions.
“I see him as the guy who will anchor down one of the middle spots — three, four or five spots and most likely three or four,” the head coach noted. “And, he has tremendous arm strength and a very good glove. That’s one of the things I’ve been most pleasantly surprised with. He’s really developed his glove and come a long way there. He can play first or third, he can catch, and he can play left or right. That gives us a lot of flexibility to be able to plug him into several different spots.”
Beaty had a .987 fielding percentage this past season, leading the team with 461 chances and 384 put-outs to go with 71 assists and just six errors.
Beaty’s numbers should not be a surprise to anyone familiar with the Dresden program during his four-year stint.
He hit .627 as a senior and .554 for his career. Beaty was picked in the 48th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Kansas City Royals following a prep career where he had 37 home runs and 147 RBI, struck out just 13 times and walked 94 times.
Beaty becomes draft-eligible again after his junior season in college.
In its final season as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, Belmont posted a 39-24 overall record, won the conference postseason tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament regional round for the second consecutive year.
The Belmont programs move to the Ohio Valley Conference beginning this year. Published in The WCP 7.26.12
Bruin skipper would take more like Beaty