KC Royals outfielder Nate Eaton may have been underwhelming at the plate in Kansas City, but that has not stopped him from mashing in the minors. The Virginia Military Institute product is making a statement with the Omaha Storm Chasers and keeping himself in the next-man-up conversation.
KC Royals outfielder Nate Eaton looks like a man among boys in Omaha.
Eaton had only one home run in a Royals uniform but logged two before the third inning ended on June 17. Omaha is hosting the Columbus Clippers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians, for a traditional six-game set. Eaton proceeded to hit a homer off starter Jhon Romero, then logged another against Caleb Baragar the next time up.
That gives Eaton four home runs in 18 Triple-A games this season. He looks like a major leaguer in Omaha, batting above average, with premier defense and speed on the basepaths. Eaton has not looked great in Kansas City by any stretch this season but is outperforming his peers in Triple-A. First baseman Nick Pratto got a second chance after going to Omaha. If Eaton keeps this up, he may warrant another extended chance in Kanas City.
The Royals selected Eaton in the 21st round of the 2018 MLB Draft, a round that doesn't even exist anymore. But, despite not being viewed as a top-15 prospect, Eaton steadily climbed his way to the majors in 2022, He exceeded his rookie limits that season, appearing in 44 games in the outfield and at third base.
Eaton started the 2023 season in Kansas City, partially due to injuries in the outfield. He has been abysmal at the plate across his 27 appearances. His .167 OPS and .058 batting average are the worst among Kansas City batters with at least 10 games played, and 21 strikeouts across 55 plate appearances made Eaton look overwhelmed against major-league pitching. Royals fans will not be clamoring to see him back in the majors any time soon, especially after Samad Taylor's heroics in his debut.