White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton is still getting to know Chicago, but he already senses more buzz about baseball here than in Phoenix.
Eaton, who began his major league career with the Diamondbacks, was impressed with how ingrained the White Sox are into the city after visiting a South Loop restaurant over the weekend.
"I came from Arizona, which seemed like there's a lot going on in Phoenix," Eaton said. "But when you come here, I went to a little pub last night and every beer glass had a Sox thing on it, there was Sox everywhere, so that kinda got me pumped up. There's a great following. I'm thrilled, I'm very excited."
Eaton will make his White Sox debut Monday afternoon, and represents a part of the young core around which the franchise is building. The White Sox are confident his skillset will be a boon for the team's lineup, with solid on-base and baserunning skills solidifying the top of the order.
The key for general manager Rick Hahn, who traded pitcher Hector Santiago in the offseason to acquire Eaton, is to keep Eaton healthy. The 25-year-old missed about half of the 2013 season with an elbow injury, and as long as he stays off the disabled list the Sox are confident in what he can do.
"My biggest concern about Adam Eaton is him running into a wall and hurting himself," Hahn said. "If he’s healthy and just plays his game we’ll be just fine. He’s been everything as advertised by our scouts and video and background research in terms of being that high-energy, top-of-the-order type player who’s going to grind out an at-bat, run well, play good defense and set the table for guys. He perfectly encapsulates what you want from that role. For me it’s keep him healthy, keep him out there."