The first round of the 2012 MLB Draft provided a few mild surprises, including with the Chicago White Sox. Long expected to target college pitching with their first pick, the Sox suddenly found a choice at the thirteenth pick, and for the the first time since 2001 went the high school route. Chicago decided on outfielder Courtney Hawkins from Texas.
Hawkins also is a pitcher for his high school team, but his track will start in the outfield for the White Sox. Rapidly shooting up draft boards, the athletic 18 year old is considered "raw" but with plus power potential. At 6-3, 210 pounds, his body is advanced for a high school prospect. He also put his athleticism on display at the MLB Draft special, doing a back flip on stage.
Compared to Matt Kemp by MLB Network, Hawkins may not profile as quite as prolific with the bat or on the base paths, but he is very projectable in terms of power and defense. Many scouting reports have mentioned him as having 20/20 abilities.
Hawkins belted 11 home runs in the high school season posted an ERA under 1 thanks to a fastball that can touch 90. He does not project as a pitcher in the pros, however. He has very good bat speed, but contact could be an issue with him. That will sound familiar to Sox fans, but that doesn't make it a bad pick. Hawkins has been on the pro radar as a corner outfielder since he was a sophomore and was a coveted talent.
As is typical of many Sox picks, Hawkins should be expected to sign, and is likely to head to rookie ball in Bristol afterwards.