Guest Week: Adam Eaton Can Fly the Millenium Falcon Too
By Joseph Pytleski (@agape4argentina)
August 5, 2013
Finding a true bargain is sometimes just being at the right place at the right time. In 1976, Harrison Ford was working as a carpenter on set when George Lucas asked him to read some lines. Next thing you know he landed the role of Han Solo over the likes of Nick Nolte and Kurt Russell, and the rest is history. He was literally the diamond in the rough.
Similarly, dynasty leagues are about finding value in players when no one else can. It’s about locating cheap, talented players who may not be playing up to their potential presently, but who’s return on investment down the road can pay big dividends. It’s not necessarily about finding the next superstar as much as it is finding the $1 player who gives you $5 in return. THAT is how you win championships. That is why you need to consider investing in Adam Eaton.
Eaton is the epitome of the pithy big-things-come-in-small-packages mantra. At 5’8” and 185 lbs, he’s not going to wow you with an impressive bat flip while stroking 30+ home runs every year. No, this is the in-the-trenches UTIL/3-4th outfielder that helps you get into the playoffs and eventually becomes the safety net that helps your team on a weekly basis. He’s finally back from the DL from a nagging elbow injury, hitting near the top of the Diamondbacks’ lineup, and his stock is low enough (he currently sports a lackluster .196/.286/.250 line) that now is the time to buy.
In 2012, Eaton made it all the way up to #73 on BA’s Top 100 prospect list, at which point he was called up for 85 solid ABs with the big club (slashing .259/.382/.412). That year he was given the monikers “Fastest Baserunner” (38 SBs in 488 ABs) and “Most Exciting Player” in the PCL. Additionally, he’s posted a career .450 OBP in the minors, has hit at every level, and despite being routinely underrated as a prospect due to his diminutive size and lack of power, has a respectable .345 OBP career thus far in the majors.
So, what does he mean for your dynasty team? Eaton can be a quality source of runs, stolen bases, and an above-average BA (think .280-.290 ceiling) Furthermore, because he knows how to take a walk (11.6% career BB rate in the minors), his value is even higher in OBP leagues. While he may never sniff double-digit homers at the MLB level, he could be a solid three-category contributor that dynasty-leaguers could be proud to put in LF or CF as an injury replacement or a consistent UTIL/4th OF type. Think Michael Bourn-lite at a fraction of the cost.
If he’s not sitting on your waiver wire already, he will only cost pennies on the dollar from any owner who’s already given up hope. Now’s the time to do your best George Lucas impersonation and go for the unknown in Eaton in hopes that he becomes the next rising star on your team.