Can Arizona Diamondbacks’ Adam Eaton Handle Big Role?
Eaton is projected to be the leadoff hitter for the Diamondbacks this season. His successful performance in Spring Training thus far suggests that he is ready to take on the part with grace. The left-handed batter is hitting .358 at the plate with two home runs, nine RBIs, one double and two stolen bases in 53 at-bats.
Arizona is hoping that Eaton will be able to transition the solid batting average into the regular season so that he can consistently get on base in front of the big sluggers. As good as his numbers are, the organization would like to see the 24-year old’s .375 on-base percentage be even better during the regular season if possible.
Another big role Eaton will have to tackle head-on is replacing Chris Young in center field. Young was traded to the Oakland Athletics this past off-season for shortstop Cliff Pennington and minor league shortstop Yordy Cabrera because the Diamondbacks felt confident in Eaton’s potential.
Considering Young has been a terrific defensive center fielder over his seven-year career, Eaton will certainly have his hands full. However, his .981 fielding percentage in three years in the minors is something Arizona feels they can work with.
The fact is that Eaton is a far superior offensive player who is better than Young in every category at the plate and on the basepaths. This alone is reason enough for the Diamondbacks to give up a little on defense.
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