GLENDALE, Ariz -- GLENDALE, Ariz. - The Chicago White Sox intrasquad game was only in the first inning Tuesday when center fielder Adam Eaton prompted observers to perk up while sitting in the stone bleachers overlooking a practice field at Camelback Ranch.
Eaton's speedy grab of a Conor Gillaspie fly ball to center field caused onlookers quietly to sort out who the newcomer was who had made the play.
Spring training is only in its second week, too early really to judge the character of the 2014 Sox, but captain Paul Konerko asserted that new arrivals such as Eaton have inserted some eagerness on a team that needed it.
"I sense hunger," said Konerko, who went 2-for-2. "We have a lot of guys who are right there trying to establish themselves and set up the rest of their career and life basically. I sense that hungriness of these guys wanting to be really good.
"They don't want to just hang around and hold a job down. They want to be All-Stars. They want to make a lot of money. Those should be the goals. ... If you're not thinking those things, you should be. This is where you make your hay."
Those young guys provided some of the highlights as players got a feel for game action again in a contest that the visiting team won 4-2. Outfielder Avisail Garcia, who joined the Sox midway through last summer, hit a two-run homer off left-hander Scott Snodgress.
Cuban slugger Jose Abreu, another newcomer, had an infield single and played first base as the Sox received their first look at him in a game on their soil.
"He's a good first baseman," manager Robin Ventura said. "He has good hands, moves around, knows what to do with the ball when it's hit to him. So I didn't see anything that made me take a double take. Just let him play."
The top pitchers didn't play, but Ventura gave a "looked good" assessment to right-hander Chris Beck, who gave up only Abreu's hit and faced just six batters in two scoreless innings. Beck, a self-described ground-ball pitcher, was a non-roster invitee to camp after going 13-10 with a 3.07 ERA in his second season in the minor leagues with high-Class-A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham.
He said he had a conversation with himself before warm-ups about the lineup he was going to face, which included Garcia, Abreu and Adam Dunn.
"I'm like, 'You're facing pretty much an opening-day lineup,' " Beck said. "I just calmed myself down and said, 'If you're going to pitch in the big leagues, you're going to pitch against lineups like this every day.' I stuck to my game plan. I had to be ready to go. ... Even in the first intrasquad, mistakes can snowball pretty fast."
Ventura agreed with Konerko that the competition from newcomers could breed a hunger in the Sox, and Beck, the Sox's second-round pick in 2012, could be one of those players in the future.
"I always set pretty lofty expectations for myself," Beck said. "The goal would be to break with Chicago. Realistically, that's kind of a long shot being my first year, but if the goal is always there, it makes you work that much harder."