BLUF: High-effort player with limited tools but should hit and work way to fourth outfielder role.
The Player: Adam Eaton (OF, Arizona Diamondbacks) – Modest 19th round pick out of Miam University (OH) in 2010. Hit a whopping .385 in his Pioneer League debut, torching the league in 68 games. Hit .332/.455/.492 in first half of 2011 season after skipping all the way to Double-A. Continued to hit in Double-A, managing a .302 batting average and 15 extra-base hits in 56 games for Mobile. Returned to Mobile for just 11 games in 2012 before earning a promotion to Triple-A. Since his promotion, he has hit .382/.457/.547 in 105 games with an astounding 41 doubles.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Industry Contacts
Body (5-8, 185): Small. Thick, compact body with good strength and fringy athleticism.
Hit: Quick bat with contact-oriented approach. Noisy pre-load but settles down and gets the bat to the zone quickly and can make contact with east. Excellent knowledge of the strike zone and good pitch recognition. Works deep into counts and finds pitches he can handle. Willing to take a walk. Contact comes easy with very little swing and miss. Potential to hit for a high average against RHP. Lost against LHP. Dives toward plate and doesn’t read pitches as well from LHP. Grade – 60/60
Power: Very little home run power. Has enough strength and bat speed to drive ball to the gaps and can be a doubles machine. Well below average raw power but will still have some extra-base hits, mostly of the doubles variety. Grade (raw power) – 30/30
Arm: Nothing stands out with his throws. He gets rid of the ball quickly and almost always throws to the correct base. Average raw strength on most throws. Grade – 50/50
Fielding: Stretched in CF. Can get the job done due to high effort style of play, but itsn’t ideal. Defensive ability more suited to corner OF. Grinder type that will do anything to get the job done. Instincts and routes in CF are iffy at best and can often leave him diving for balls a better CF would get to with relative ease. Presently below-average in CF with ceiling as fringe-average defender. Grade – 40/40
Speed: Reports range from average to solid-average times down the line. Very aggressive runner, both in the outfield and when running the bases, which helps speed play up. Could steal 20 bases a year. Grade – 50/50
Summation: Absolute max-effort player. Leaves it all on the field. Manager’s dream. Controls strike zone exceptionally well and will take walks. Walks may decrease against MLB pitching because of lack of power. Anemic against LHP. Lacks any significant home run power but can pick up doubles and will stretch some singles because of aggressive style. Can handle CF but stretched in the process. Lacks premium profile to stay up the middle, and lacks premium offensive profile for a corner. Tweener. Really good fourth OF and contact-oriented bench bat.
Relative Risk: Low. Big league ready with very good approach and grinder mentality.
Future: Having no trouble with Triple-A pitching. Ready to be a big league fourth outfielder right now. Could help off the bench down the stretch and should be in the mix for a secondary role in 2013.