Eaton: Good work habits equal good results
ST. LOUIS -- Adam Eaton's .290 average entering play Tuesday made him one of the most productive White Sox hitters in the month of June. And a .484 slugging percentage also made the 5-foot-8, 185-pound White Sox leadoff hitter one of the team's most power-packed over the past 30 days.
"I don't go up there trying to hit extra-base hits, that's for sure. You try to put a good swing on the ball and hope for the best," Eaton said. "You work for line drives all over the park. Sometimes that might be in the gap or over the fence. If you work good habits, good things are produced out of those habits."
"He has power. That part has never been a question," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "You're looking for him to get on base. He has speed. If he gets it in the gap, gets it down the line, he has enough to get a triple. He has all of that stuff. It's just you don't want to sit there and have him rely on trying to be your home run hitter. You want him to set the table."
This power surge isn't exactly new for Eaton, although his five homers entering Tuesday's series opener in St. Louis stand as a single-season career high, and he came into the game vs. the Cardinals with an extra-base hit in five straight games. In 2014, Eaton knocked out 10 triples and 26 doubles to go with his one homer.
Eaton has hit Ventura's target with the bat during June and for a good part of May, after batting just .192 in April. That slow start is nothing new to Eaton, who hit just .224 in May 2014, but in hindsight, Eaton can admit that the pressure coming along with his five-year, $23.5 million extension agreed upon during Spring Training played a part in the rough beginning this season.
"It's your dream to always have a long-term contract with a Major League team," Eaton said. "At the same time, there's a lot of pressure that comes with that that you didn't know you necessarily deal with. It plays in your mind a little bit.
"You want to play so well for the team and the city that it can be difficult. I want to play well for them and put a good product on the field. I try to learn something new every day, and I definitely learned something this spring. I would be lying to you if I wasn't just a touch overwhelmed in the beginning of the season with the contract and the new team and such."