Eaton Storms Through The Minors





Best Player: Adam Eaton has been on the Diamondbacks radar since his professional debut, when he hit .385 with 25 extra-base hits and 20 stolen bases for Rookie-level Missoula in 2010, and he blipped his way to the top of the screen with another remarkable season at Triple-A Reno in 2012.
 
Eaton, 23, led the minor leagues in hits and runs and was batting .375/.456/.523 when he was called up on Sept. 4. He had 47 doubles and 44 stolen bases, including his first two weeks at Double-A Mobile, and was a catalyst at the top of manager Brett Butler's batting order. A spunky 5-foot-8 and 185 pounds, Eaton has a center fielder's range and a right fielder's arm.

"He plays with his hair on fire, which you love," Butler said.

Best Pitcher: Even with the depth throughout the system, it was a two-man race between Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs, with the nod going to the lefthander because of his success at three levels, including the majors.

Skaggs won his Diamondbacks debut in an Aug. 22 doubleheader and showed the plus pitches—low-90s fastball, sweeping 12-to-6 curveball in the mid-70—that has made him one of the game's top prospects since the Angels drafted him in 2010 with a sandwich pick. Skaggs was 9-6, 2.87 in 22 minor league starts, starting the season in Mobile  before being bumped to Reno.

Bauer had a strong minor league season, going 12-2, 2.42, with 157 strikeouts in 130 innings at Mobile and Reno. He was 1-2, 6.06 in four midsummer major league starts.

Keep An Eye On: Catcher Michael Perez, a fifth-round pick in 2011, opened 2012 in extended spring training, then broke out at Rookie-level Missoula. The strong 5-foot-11 Perez is built like Miguel Montero and hit like him too, with 15 doubles, 10 homers and 59 RBIs in 56 games at Missoula.

Snake Bites

• Catcher Stryker Trahan, the 26th overall pick in the 2012 draft out of a Louisiana high school, was named to the Rookie-level Arizona League all-star team after hitting .281/.422/.473 with 11 doubles, five homers and 25 RBIs in 49 games.

• Lefthander Alex Carreras, a free agent sign last November after leaving Cuba, was named to the short-season Northwest League all-star team. Carreras was 8-5, 3.04 in 14 starts at Yakima, with 51 strikeouts and 35 walks in 77 innings.