Chicago White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton has been a light-hitting leadoff man for the first few seasons of his career. Speed has always been his game, as evident of his league leading 10 triples in 2014.
Home runs however, have been much more infrequent. From 2012-2014, Eaton only hit six home runs. He had 16 triples in that same time span.
In 2015, Eaton’s power stroke has come to life. He hit his 12th home run of the season last night in the White Sox loss to the Minnesota Twins. He also got his 42nd and 43rd RBI’s of the year, adding to his list of career-highs. His strikeout total is a bit high for a leadoff hitter (117 already), however his slow start hurt that total.
While the power is up, Eaton’s speed is also still here. With eight triples, he still has a chance to reach double digits in that category for the second straight year. I still think he could work on his base stealing ability, especially considering the speed he has.
Eaton had 15 steals in 2014 (caught nine times), and is close to surpassing those numbers this season. With 14 steals after last night’s game, he has been caught five times. Assuming he adds to that total and is not caught four times or more the rest of the year, his success rate overall will be improved from last season.
More from White Sox News
- The Chicago White Sox might have had a season ending loss
- The Chicago White Sox are expecting Tim Anderson back soon
- Miguel Cairo’s words spark life into the Chicago White Sox
- Dylan Cease should be the favorite for the AL Cy Young Award
- Ozzie Guillen speaks the whole truth about Tony La Russa
Do I think that Eaton will someday steal 50 bases? Probably not, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he had some seasons where he reached the 35-40 steal plateau.
Eaton’s injury history works against him when it comes to stealing bases, due to the fact that he could wear down over time. However, I think Eaton still has the ability to provide a good combination of pop and speed from the leadoff spot.
The White Sox outfielder has drawn some comparisons to Lenny Dykstra in his young career. While reaching the level of Dykstra in terms of production long-term may not happen, Eaton can still be a good leadoff hitter for a long time. He just has to stay healthy.
Considering the effort he plays with, not to mention his past issues, it might be a problem as he gets older. Barring a major injury or a trade, it is very likely that Eaton will be the White Sox center fielder and leadoff man for a while. He just signed a five year, 23 million deal at the beginning of the 2015 season.
If he contiues to develop at this rate, Eaton has the makings of a future All-Star.