Re: Adam Eaton
I love Eaton specifically because he is a different kind of hitter and I'd personally love to see if he could do it at the major league level (high OBP, doubles power) BUT I just think its a huge risk in a pennant race to ask a rookie to jump in and not expect him to struggle at first even if he does get there eventually. I'd rather see someone who has proven he can do it at this point. I really think baseball will start turning to guys like Eaton and we'll begin seeing more high OBP guys again - the Carews and Motas and Sanguillens and Alous. The screw has turned for the big sluggers at the exclusion of all else. They'll always have their place but as pitching regains dominance the running game, speed, and swat hitters who just get on base a lot will also find a welcome role in baseball. Playing for 1 run and holding on is already surfacing in games and small ball strategies are being used more often - maybe better informed by percentages but still more often than the past couple of decades. Hamilton will help usher in the next generation of base stealers too, I'll bet. Wouldn't surprise me if Eaton didn't help usher in the next generation of Gwynn like left and right fielders who aren't power hitters but pesky get on base types, especially on teams that get power from middle infielders and their catcher or center fielder - non traditional power positions.
So don't be in such a hurry to downgrade guys just because they lack power. I would not call that a "foundational flaw". Not if they can get on base at a very high clip. Personally, if my leadoff hitter gets on base at a .375 or better clip I don't care if he ever hits a home run.