Sox Blogger Call with Courtney Hawkins and Josh Phegley

The Chicago White Sox hosted a Q&A session today with a handful of Sox-related social media sites.  The guests on the call were outfielder and 2012 1st round draft pick Courtney Hawkins (currently with the Winston-Salem Dash) and catcher Josh Phegley (currently with the Charlotte Knights).  The questions came from the various sites’ representatives on the call.

Here are some highlights from the call…

–JUNE 11, 2013

Q for Josh Phegley (JP)-How do you feel about your alma mater [Indiana] making it to the college world series for the first time?

Doesn’t surprise me at all, they were moving in the right direction when I was there. They are a really tough team.

(JP)-What helped you move forward most this year, did you make any changes?

There were little swing tweaks, changed my load, getting ready for pitch, and getting into a good position to hit. Also looking for good pitches, not their (pitchers) pitches.

Q for Courtney Hawkins (CH)-What was the jump from high school to the pros like?

The level of competition, along with playing every day was big. I went from playing twice a week in high school, to every day in the pros. I love it, and am getting used to it.

(CH)- It’s been a weird year for you when you look at the spread between your batting average and slugging percentage, how do you feel about it?

Yeah, had a lot of K’s early, but was trying to force it. Wasn’t looking for my pitch, much like Josh said. Now I am getting more comfortable and better at recognizing what can be hit, and instead of a pitch I can just put into play.

(CH)- Follow up, were the K’s difficult for you?

At first they were, but I got a lot of support from guys telling me it was a long season, and to not let it bother me. Now I am starting to figure it out.

(CH)-What was the difference in you between before your injury and after your injury? Did it help to watch some games?

I had made some little changes before I got hurt, and was already starting to bring K’s down. Things like how I got ready, and how I took stuff. I also learned some more. I was just eager to get playing and now paying more attention.

(JP)- What are you working on behind the plate?

Mainly trying to catch the ball cleanly. Behind the plate is just like hitting and you will go into funks. Also trying to get the staff to battle, it has been a struggle at times this year. Trying to win more.

(JP)- What, if anything, have you learned from guys like Jordan Danks and Brian Omogrosso who have been up and down with the big club this year?

It is not in your hands [a promotion to Chicago]. You have to showcase your ability on a daily basis. If they feel someone is a better fit, they will get the call up. The Sox will call you up if they need you. Try not to think about that though, and keep focused on your daily activities.

(JP)- Are you ready for the jump to the majors?

I haven’t been there yet, so I am not totally sure what that will be like. I am doing what they told me to do. I am trying to help Charlotte right now.

(CH) -Did you see a big difference in the pitching between the different levels in the minors?

Not too much. I felt like the pitchers were better at spotting their pitches. Saw some good sinker ball pitchers. This year it doesn’t seem as extreme.

(CH)- I saw where you tweeted Tim Anderson after he was drafted and congratulated him. Was this to kind of mentor some of the new young guys as they came in, or did you know Tim ahead of time?

The only guy I knew was Thaddius Lowry [5th round pick]. No, I wanted to give him his congrats. Making it this far is a really big deal.

(JP)- When was the first time you felt both 100% healthy and up to pace?

Really didn’t feel fully up to pace and healthy until last year. The wrist thing wasn’t a big deal in 2010, just something I had to get done. The pitchers get better and I chased a lot of pitches early on. Last year was the first year I felt I could hit the pitching on a regular basis, even with some struggles that I had.

(JP)- Who was the toughest pitcher for you to catch, based on movement?

Not sure if I can pinpoint that. Each guy has their own tough pitches that do different things. I caught Sale in a bullpen in 2010, he was a real tough pitcher. He has really improved since 2010 to when I caught him in spring this year. Slider is amazing.

(CH)- Do the Sox have you working on anything defensively and is there any word about your staying in center field or eventually moving to a corner outfield spot?

I am not to worried about moving. If the Sox want me to move I will move, but I plan on staying in center field as long as they let me.

Thanks to Courtney, Josh and the Sox for putting together the call and spending time with us!

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