Watch CBS News

The Bernstein Brief: Big Step From Adam Eaton Is Key For White Sox

By Dan Bernstein--

(CBS) I want to like White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton's game more than I do, but every time I try, something seems to happen.

The hard numbers show that he had a good year in 205, primarily because he stayed healthy enough to play 153 games. If that's a sign that his reckless style is being tempered by experience all the better, as he posted a slash of .287/.361/.431 with a wOBA of .346.

Now if he can just stay on the field, stop overthrowing cutoff men and getting picked off base, Eaton may be onto something in 2016, in his athletic prime at age 27.

He's preparing for a possible move to a corner outfield spot and some occasional DH stints to accommodate newly signed outfielder Austin Jackson, and Eaton's taking a team-first approach with his comments even if center remains his preferred spot. And the team stands to benefit greatly if he performs to the level of his higher-range projections for this season.

PECOTA's 50th-percentile numbers for Eaton in 2016 have him making 640 plate appearances and compiling a .280/.349/.397 slash line, good for 2.9 WAR. If he outperforms that, his 70-percent line jumps to .292/.363/.415 and 3.8 WAR.

To be contenders, the White Sox will need multiple players to succeed into their upper ranges this year, and it's fair to expect that Eaton is one of them.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score's "Boers and Bernstein Show" in afternoon drive. You can follow him on Twitter  @dan_bernstein and read more of his columns here.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.