Eaton reflects on journey from Minors to Majors

Eaton reflects on journey from Minors to Majors

Eaton reflects on journey from Minors to Majors
PHOENIX -- A day after D-backs outfielder Adam Eaton learned his season was over due to a fractured right hand, the rookie was back in the clubhouse on Sunday sporting a cast and reflecting on his highlight-filled year from the Minors to the big leagues.

"It's been a memorable season, to end on this note kind of sucks," Eaton said. "But it's better to happen now than March or Spring Training."

The 23-year-old was hit by a pitch on the hand Saturday night in the seventh inning of the D-backs' 8-2 victory over the Cubs. Thinking the injury wasn't as serious as it turned out to be, Eaton stayed in the game for another inning, running the bases and playing the outfield.

"As soon as it happened, I went to the ground and I thought immediately, 'It hurts, but it's not your legs, so get up and run to first,'" Eaton said. "[D-backs first base coach Eric Young] looked and at it and said it was bad. I told him I didn't want to look at it, because I didn't think it was broken, so I continued to play."

But upon returning to the dugout after the top of the eighth, team doctors saw the swelling and asked to get an X-ray of the hand.

"The doc wanted to get a picture of it and we found out it was broken," Eaton said. "I thought he was joking at first. I was like, 'Are you serious?'"

Even though Eaton believes he won't need surgery to repair the hand, the recovery time is estimated around four to six weeks.

Before his promotion to the Major Leagues, Eaton was named the MVP of the Pacific Coast League, batting .381 for Triple-A Reno. Since being called up earlier this month, he has appeared in every game for the D-backs since Sept. 4.

"I've learned so much, it's unbelievable," the outfielder said. "Being able to slow things down and be consistent every day. I did struggle, but I felt like these last few days, I got back into doing things I thought I could do. I felt like I learned how to play at this level, and I learned a lot about myself. It was a good experience."

In 85 at-bats, Eaton compiled a .382 on-base percentage to go along with two home runs, 19 runs scored and a pair of stolen bases.

"Overall, he was a huge success in his time up here," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "It's encouraging what he could do for us."

Although Gibson admitted Eaton made a few rookie mistakes in his time with the D-backs, the manager said he is curious about the outfielder's potential moving forward as a leadoff hitter.

"He was good, I think he really had some good time up here, it's going to be helpful for him to have been up here," Gibson said. "There were some inconsistencies just like any other player, but I like his drive and determination, the energy he brings. He showed a little bit of power and a little bit of slapping at the ball."