'Scrappy' Eaton has helped Arizona in myriad ways

The SportsXchange

Suffice it to say that Arizona's Adam Eaton has made a good first impression.

Eaton hit safely in his first five games in the major leagues, and he has done a little bit of everything else along the way while continuing the success he had at Class AAA Reno, where he was the league's most valuable player and rookie of the year after a minor-league season in which he hit .375 with 47 doubles and 44 stolen bases.

Center fielder Eaton is 10-for-25 with two doubles and six runs, scoring in every game. He added his first stolen base on the front end of a double steal in an 8-2 loss at San Diego on Sunday, which concluded a 5-5 West Coast swing that prevented the D-backs from making any meaningful headway in the NL playoff race.

Eaton has six infield hits, including a bunt single Saturday, and is the kind of leadoff hitter the D-backs have not had in their 15 seasons.

"He walks. He gets on base. He's scrappy," manager Kirk Gibson said.

Eaton showed off what scouts have called a plus arm on a remarkable double play in the fifth inning Sunday. With Andy Parrino on first base, Padres catcher John Baker hit a line drive to deep left-center field that Eaton tracked down on the run about 10 feet short of the warning track. A left-handed thrower, Eaton wheeled and fired a strike to first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to double off Perino. Eaton's throw reached Goldschmidt on the fly.

"He's shown a lot of ways how he can help a ballclub," Gibson said.

Eaton has not been out of the lineup since being purchased from Class AAA Reno on Tuesday, after starting center fielder Chris Young suffered a quadriceps injury while running out a ground ball in the eighth inning of a game at San Francisco on Monday. It is likely that the D-backs will continue to take a long look at Eaton even when Young regains his health.

"It's been a bright spot for us," Gibson said.
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