Eaton can be an All-Star in 2015
Jul 30, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton (1) receives congratulations from first base coach Daryl Boston (17) after he hits a single in the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Eaton’s other great quality is something the White Sox have lacked for a long time. Since the departure of Aaron Rowand, centerfield has been a bit of journeyman position for the White Sox, and the lead off spot in the order has seen even more fluctuation.
Eaton looks like a long-term answer at both spots because he is a true spark plug-in what should be a dangerous White Sox line-up.
Eaton hit .347/.396/.447 after the all-star break in ’14. Those aren’t just all-star numbers, but MVP-type production. Obviously, Eaton won’t challenge for that status because he lacks power. While Eaton only hit one home run last season, I think that was ultimately a fluke.
Five-to-eight home runs is a reasonable prediction for Eaton in ’15, with most of his power manifesting itself in the form of gap doubles and triples. Eaton tied for second in triples last year, with 10.
While players can earn a starting spot on the all-star team through the fan voting process, the American League outfield is likely too stacked for him to get in that way, and we all know who will be starting in center in Cincinnati for the AL … see Mike Trout.
However, players also get in as reserves via player voting and managerial selection. I think the players will vote Eaton in because while his energy may be irritating to the opposition, it still garners respect around the game when you play with competitive fire.
If for some reason Eaton isn’t a member of the first 33 players, then there is always the Final Vote process, which the White Sox have been extremely successful with in the past. I can already see the ad campaign: Vote Eaton into the All-Star game, Cincy’s awesome at high-fives. (Remember Eaton was born in Springfield, OH).
Not only is Eaton great on the field, but he’s also a dynamic speaker and would be a great asset to Major League Baseball at the national event. He’s truly an exciting player, and the center fielder resonates with blue-collar fans in Chicago, making him a great marketing product.
Plus, since the White Sox should be in the spotlight much more in ’15, I don’t think it will take long for Eaton to generate some name value among casual fans.
Simply put, if Eaton can even sniff his second half production while maintaining gold glove defense, he’ll solidify himself a trip to Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.