KR grad Eaton selected in 19th round of MLB draft

Eaton was drafted in the 19th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday, June 8. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Miami University RedHawk was the 571st pick overall.

“I kind of wish it would have come sooner, but better late than never, I guess,” Eaton said Tuesday evening.

In fact, Eaton had given up on getting a call.

“After the 15th round, I just got in the car and started driving back to Miami, thinking I wasn’t going to hear anything,” said Eaton, who was projected by some experts as being a possible pick in the fourth to 10th rounds. “I went back to Miami thinking I was going to start packing for summer ball.

“Then Frankie Thon, their scout, called and told me. He said, ‘I’m sorry we didn’t get you sooner.’ I had to ask him what round I was drafted in.”

Eaton, who bats and throws left-handed, hit .368 with a school single-season record nine triples, 13 home runs, 55 RBIs and 30 stolen bases as a junior for the RedHawks in 2010.

He was the first player from the area drafted since 2001 when North’s Nick Wagner went to the Devil Rays in the 21st round, and the first Cougar drafted since Dustin Hermanson was selected by the Padres in the first round in 1994.

“I’ve been down there, and I loved it,” said Eaton of Arizona. “I love the weather, I love the people. I’m very excited to be a D-Back.”

But first things first. There is the matter of a contract that has to be negotiated and signed.

“We’re not saying anything yet, but I don’t think discussions will take too long,” he said. “I’m the type of guy that if I’m going to play, I want to play right away. I don’t think it is going to take too long to make a decision about whether or not to go back to school or play.

“(Frankie Thon) said, ‘We are going to try to give you the money that you deserve.’ But I don’t know what to expect. If the money’s not there, I could go back to Miami for a fourth year.”

Either way, Eaton is anxious for the next chapter of his career.

“I’ve been out for two weeks, and I feel like I haven’t played baseball for a year,” he said. “I’ve mourned for the game that I love. I hate staying away from it. If the numbers game is right, I’m going to jump right in.”

Contact this reporter at (937) 328-0364 or krowe@coxohio.com.

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