Earlier in the year, we interviewed Sox’ first-round draft pick Courtney Hawkins, a powerful high school outfielder from Texas. Since then, Hawkins has found success in the farm system with each of the organization’s single-A affiliates.
After Hawkins found comfort and began to grow as a professional baseball player, he was promoted from the Appalachian League’s Bristol Sox rookie team to the Kannapolis Intimidators. There, he hit an impressive .308 with 11 extra base hits in just 65 at bats. Not to insult anyone’s simple math abilities, but over a full MLB season, that’d come out to over 100 XBH’s.
Since his recent promotion to Winston Salem, he has looked very good, hitting .294 through a handful of games including two big home runs for the Dash in their current playoff run.
Recently, Hawkins was moved to the number 2 spot on the team’s top-20 prospect list behind only outfielder Trayce Thompson, as he’s widely considered one of, it not the most talented prospect in the entire system, as many have said he’s no where near his ceiling yet.
Now let’s remember, is still only 18 years old until November, so he’s most likely a long way away from the big leagues. Nonetheless, his impressive play is very encouraging. With the White Sox’ outfield already filled for the next year or two at least by Alex Rios, Alejandro De Aza, and Dayan Viciedo, there’s no rush to get Hawkins up.
Many have criticized the Sox for calling up Gordon Beckham so early in his career, and while the team doesn’t regret doing so, I’m sure they’ll be sure to proceed with caution as far as Hawkins’ career goes. Not to mention, there are a lot of other outfielders that are highly touted throughout the farm system including Thompson, Jared Mitchell, Keenyn Walker, and even Jordan Danks who has already been promoted to the big leagues. To put it simply, there are many reasons to not rush Hawkins.
While nothing is official yet, I’d expect Hawkins to start 2013 with Winston Salem and possibly even play there most of, if not the entire year. Since AA and AAA are more aimed toward breeding major league talent for the very near future, there may not be any harm in letting Hawkins get comfortable playing for the Dash before promoting him to AA Birmingham when his White Sox call-up looms nearer.
Wherever he plays, he’s certainly a guy to keep your eye on. As a five tool player, he has the potential to be a name we hear about for many years to come, so like we’ve said before, you may as well get familiar with him now.
Posted by GSB! Founder and Managing Editor, Zach Gropper. Go, go White Sox!