D-backs are loving Adam Eaton

Updated: March 13, 2013, 11:57 AM ET
By Buster Olney

Adam Eaton has a gift for angering other people, Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers has decided. The other day, the center fielder bunted on James Shields and the Kansas City Royals seemed put off by that, and when Eaton slid into third base he banged against Mike Moustakas.

"I think everybody likes him on our team," said Towers, "but everybody on the other team hates him. He's just one of those guys."

Towers is closing in on two decades as a big league GM, and while Quilvio Veras did some nice things in Towers' years with the Padres, Towers can't recall ever having a prototypical leadoff hitter like Eaton before: someone who gets on base consistently, who pressures the defense, who forces the issue. Towers has watched the Giants set a standard for the NL West in recent years and sees a steady drumbeat in the way they compete, despite lacking a dynamic offense.

"They'll get guys on base and they'll put pressure on the defense," said Towers. "They won't make mistakes, and you look up in the late innings and you're down a run, and they've got that great bullpen."