Dresden baseball (Royal)ty is Beaty
By KENNETH COKER, Press Sports
The recently-graduated Lion baseball standout and Belmont University signee was picked by the Kansas City Royals in the 48th round last Wednesday.
“It was very exciting,” Beaty said of his being selected. “I was in Paducah, eating with a friend and the (St. Louis) Cardinals called me to say they were about to pick me.
“But before they did, I called my mom and she told me that the Royals had drafted me.”
All totaled, Beaty said he received serious interest from three other big league clubs — the Cardinals, Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays.
“I had a feeling I was going to get drafted, but I just didn’t know when,” Beaty said. “I thought it might have been higher because the Cardinals called me around Round 20 or so and gave me an offer, but I told them they needed to commit to me before I could commit to them.”
For the record, Beaty said he wasn’t going to make his decision on whether to go pro or to college until at least the end of this month. He is scheduled to go to Kansas City June 21 and the team has told him that they would be following his summer baseball play with a scout attending several of his outings.
On June 21, Beaty will attend a Royals’ game and also work out for the team.
If Beaty chooses the college path, he will have other opportunities to be picked in future MLB drafts. Beaty’s next draft chance — if he does not sign with the Royals — will be after the completion of his junior campaign at Belmont.
“I told him it was a win-win situation,” Dresden baseball coach Scott Killebrew said. “If he signs to go pro, he’ll continue to play baseball. If he goes to Belmont, he’ll play there, too.”
Beaty, who swings from the left side, hit .627 during the recently-completed prep campaign with eight doubles, four home runs and 27 RBI.
He was walked 34 times — on many occasions intentionally — and struck out just three times.
For his career at Dresden, Beaty finished with a .554 batting average with 37 home runs and 147 RBI. He struck out a grand total of 13 times and was walked on 94 occasions.
“He has great discipline,” Killebrew said. “He was very selective as to which pitches he was going to swing at and with two strikes even, he always wanted to hit his pitch.
“A lot of hitters go up there ready to jump on a first-pitch fastball and some panic when they get two strikes. Matt held his composure with two strikes and almost always put the ball in play.”
Though he played third base for most of the 2011 campaign, the Royals drafted Beaty as a catcher.
Beaty did see some time behind the plate this season with the Lions and at other junctures in his high school and summer travel ball careers.
Beaty is keeping his skills sharp this summer by playing with the Tennessee Thunder travel baseball team out of Jackson.
“I try to play as much as possible and not become satisfied with how I’m playing,” Beaty said. “I’m always trying to be better than I was the last game.”
Putting in extra time on the diamond when out of season along with God-given talent is what Killebrew believes sets Beaty apart.
“I’ve had players through the year that had the talent, but maybe not the work ethic,” the Lions’ skipper said. “I’ve had others that didn’t have the talent, but had the work ethic to be better than what they should have been.
“Matt’s got it all. He’s a hard worker. He’ll put in the extra time and that’s what makes him so special. Aside from that, he’s a fine young man. He helps out with the Little League and, basically, just wants to be around baseball.”
And it seems like no matter which choice Beaty makes, he will be.