Adam Eaton made a giant splash in the minor leagues this season.
Now the Arizona Diamondbacks will get a chance to see how Eaton handles the final step up.
Eaton singled and doubled and in the D-backs' 8-6, 11-inning victory over the San Francisco Giants in his first major league game Tuesday. His contract was purchased from Class AAA Reno, and he was inserted into the lineup at the leadoff spot after starting center fielder Chris Young suffered a left leg late in Monday's game.
"My wildest dream. Very exciting. I've never felt so uncomfortable on a baseball field in my life for the first couple of innings," Eaton said.
Eaton, 23, was the Pacific Coast League's Most Valuable Player and its Rookie of the Year. If his monster minor league numbers translate at the next level, he would be the kind of player the D-backs have really never had in their 15 seasons, a hit/walk leadoff hitter who has the ability to steal bases.
His development this season is among the reasons the D-backs could consider trading a veteran outfielder this winter to fill a perceived hole at first base. General manager Kevin Towers made it clear in midseason that he would list to offers on any player, and the D-backs are heavy in the outfield with starters Justin Upton, Young and Jason Kubel and super reserve Gerardo Parra.
"You can tell he's a very aggressive kid. You can tell he has energy," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of Eaton.
Eaton has a resume that is studded with achievement. He hit .381/.451/.539 at Reno, where he spent all but the first two weeks of the season. He led the minor leagues with 198 hits and 130 runs. Eaton had 47 doubles and 44 stolen bases including his two-week stay at Class AA Mobile before the trickle-up effect from Young's April 18 shoulder injury moved everyone up a level.
A 19th-round pick out of Miami (Ohio) in 2010, Eaton has never hit lower than .318 in his 2 1/2 pro seasons. He was a Pioneer League all-star with Missoula in 2010, a California League all-star with Visalia in 2011 and a member of the Arizona Fall League all-prospect team following the 2011 regular season. He has 98 stolen bases and 263 runs in 319 minor league games.