Start with the strut — this is what Brett Butler remembers about the first time he saw Spanky, in all his Spankiness, in camp last spring. “So here’s this 5’9’’ kid,” says Butler, “walking around with the major leaguers with this cockiness that said, ‘Here I am, man. Nobody here is faster than me. Nobody here is going to outplay me.’ I kind of smirked, and was like, ‘Who is this punk?’”
So, who, exactly, is Spanky?
He is the new face of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is the mid-round sleeper pick in your fantasy baseball league. He is the trendy pick to win this year’s National League Rookie of the Year award, a player who is about to become one of the breakout stars of 2013. He is lefthanded and he is short—- “5-9, and a half, with spikes,” he says—- and while he might remind you of a certain undersized Dodgers All-Star centerfielder from ‘90s, he is not the second coming of Brett Butler, at least according to Brett Butler.
“He’s got more pop than me, he’s got a better arm—- he’s going to be better than me,” says Butler. The better comparison? “I’ve gone as far as to say this: he’s Mike Trout, without the pop.”
Jeff Trout could not be reached for comment.
Eaton still has much to learn—- “he’s as raw as raw can be,” says Butler. “He needs to learn his routes. He needs to learn to lay down a bunt. But his upside? Substantial. I’ve never had a player who’s played with a chip on his shoulder and been more determined to prove a point.”
And there are still many baseball fans who don’t know this Adam Eaton from the Adam Eaton who pitched 10 years in the majors. Just the other day, Eaton says, “a fan on Twitter told me to give back my World Series ring that I won with the Phillies, because I’m a bum and I’m pathetic.”
Then there was the woman who showed up at Diamondbacks camp a few days ago with a sheet of cards for him to sign.
“I saw you in Seattle two or three years ago,” she said.
Eaton looked down at the cards. “Sorry, you have the wrong guy,” he said. “I’m the short one.’”
Posted: March 12, 2013 at 04:22 AM | 4 comment(s)
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