As we approach spring training 2016 we continue our lead-up coverage with a profile of the White Sox center-fielder Adam Eaton.
Adam “Spanky” Eaton is exactly the type of player that Chicago White Sox fans love to have around. At just five-foot-eight, Eaton makes up for his lack of size with his top notch personality and passion. He is social with the fans, funny, hustles on every play, and brings some swagger to the team. The White Sox have had their fair share of lovable fan-favorites over the years, and Eaton has assumed that role with the team since being acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in December of 2013 in a three team deal between the Diamondbacks, White Sox, and the Los Angeles Angels that included the White Sox sending Hector Santiago to the Angels, and Brandon Jacobs to the Diamondbacks.
Since arriving in Chicago Eaton has been the teams primary center-fielder, and performed well thus far. In 2014 Eaton played 123 games for the White Sox, nearly double the amount of games that he played in 2013 in Arizona. Eaton posted a .300 BA, with 26 doubles, 10 triples, one home run, and 35 RBIs over his 123 games in 2014. In the winter of 2015 Eaton was rewarded for his solid production with a new five year, $23 million dollar deal. That deal was seen by many as an extremely “team friendly” contract. Eaton made it clear to everyone that his priorities were focused on winning rather than mega pay-days. If he had not already, he definitely won the affection of the Chicago White Sox fan base during that offseason.
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After signing his new five year deal in the offseason Eaton struggled in the beginning of the 2015 season. The White Sox as a team sputtered out of the gates, and most everyone under-performed in the beginning of the 2015 season. Eaton went on to turn his 2015 campaign around in the second half of the season, finishing up with a .287 BA, 14 home runs, 56 RBIs, 28 doubles, nine triples, and 18 stolen bases. Eaton posted career highs in runs, hits, home runs, RBIs, stolen bases, and slugging percentage.
Eaton has the spark, and the swagger to be a leader on and off of the field for sure, more importantly in his two seasons in Chicago he has provided excellent production offensively, as well .986 FLD% in the outfield. The White Sox often take criticism from the fan base about bad roster decisions, whether it be failed free agent signings or trades over the years. Once thing is certain on the Adam Eaton trade, and that is that the White Sox were the winners of that deal. They acquired their center-fielder of the future, and a fan favorite for the small cost of Hector Santiago and Brandon Jacobs.
Look for another productive season for Adam Eaton in 2016, especially with the big bats behind him in the middle of the Sox lineup.