Making the Grade: Ranking Center Fielders in the AL Central

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No. 2: Adam Eaton, Chicago White Sox

Mar 27, 2015; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton (1) dives back to first base in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs during a spring training game at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest detriments to Adam Eaton is his inability to stay on the field.

Limited to 123 games in 2014, Eaton hit .300/.362/.401 with 15 stolen bases. He was an outstanding table-setter for the Chicago White Sox, leading AL Central centerfielders in OBP (.362) and tying Bourn for the league lead in triples (10). Eaton posted the highest oWAR with Alexei Ramirez and AL Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu hitting behind him and, now with Melky Cabrera and Adam LaRoche added to the fray, Eaton has the potential to put up even better numbers this season.

Off to a slow start this season, Eaton has just six hits in 42 at-bats over 10 games. He has just one walk as part of an inefficient .163 OBP out of the leadoff spot.

Defensively, Eaton covers a lot of ground in centerfield. His gritty effort at the position, though, puts his slight frame at risk for injury. His nine assists at the position were good for third in baseball last season and his range-factor per game of 2.65 was fifth-best among qualified outfielders.

Eaton is probably the most secure in his position of this group, but his inability to stay on the field — along with his lack of any sort of pop — makes it difficult to rank him at the top of this list.

Next: No. 1