White Sox: Adam Eaton still fueled by 2010 MLB Draft snubs

White Sox: Adam Eaton still fueled by 2010 MLB Draft snubs
June 4, 2014, 10:00 am
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The number still sticks in Adam Eaton's head. 

Five hundred seventy-one. That's where Eaton was selected in the 2010 MLB Draft. And four years later, he still is driven by it.

"571st always sticks in my mind," Eaton said Sunday. "I think there were probably 50 outfielders drafted before me and all that stuff. Any motivation that you can find within that you definitely take. I think any player in here will find that.

"They see something that's written about them or they were drafted later than they thought they should've, stay in the cage a little longer, make sure your arm's prepared, your body's where it supposed to be. In this game you have to find the motivation."

[MORE: White Sox focused on more than No. 3 pick in MLB Draft]

Most players drafted No. 571 overall don't make it. Only four have made the major leagues in the draft's 49-year history: Eaton, Nationals shortstop Stephen Lombardozzi, Nationals right-hander Sam Dyson and Dodgers shortstop Matt Antonelli. When Eaton was taken, only one of those players -- Antonelli -- had played in the majors, and he hit .193 in 21 games in 2008.

While Eaton's slumped as of late, hitting .209 with one walk since coming off the disabled list May 18, he's part of the White Sox core. It's a group that includes Chris Sale, who was selected 558 picks before he was in the 2010 draft.

With the 2014 draft this week, Eaton recalled the frustration of being passed over so many times before finally landing in the 19th round.

"I didn't enjoy it all that much," Eaton said. "I was told I was going to go a little earlier, but with that extra motivation being a 19th-round draft pick ... the motivation of that to try to get here as quick as possible and compete every day helped me. I was blessed in that sense to be picked later and give me some more motivation. But the Diamondbacks did give me and opportunity of a lifetime, even drafting me.

"So I'm very thrilled and happy with that and blessed to be put in that position and continue to work hard and hopefully continue to do better than the 571st pick for sure."