Power is a popular tool. We talked about it yesterday with Adam Brett Walker, but today we'll talk about it with Courtney Hawkins. I don't mean that to say that Hawkins has Walker's power, because he doesn't. Yet, Hawkins is a right handed power hitting outfielder in his own right. Plus, he's great athlete that is currently capable of playing center field, but his 6-2, 210 pound body will likely cause him to grow into a corner spot, which isn't a problem since he has an above average arm that will allow him to play in right.
Hawkins is a busy man at the plate. I mean that as he has a lot of pre-swing movement including very busy hands. His swing is pretty complex with a lot of movement. He has starts out with a wide base and toe taps into a narrow base before stepping back into a wide base. We all know the issues with timing from the toe touch, but because of the size of step after his toe touch, he often times can lunge instead of stepping. That's an issue against quality off-speed pitches. It works for him now because it gets some more out of his legs for power at times, but more often he ends up out of balance.
That's the bad news. The good news is that he's improved his pitch recognition and some other things at the plate to reduce his bad swings and improve his hitting ability. That's why he's shot up draft boards as he projects to hit for a much better average with above average power.
If things just don't work out, he's a prospect on the mound as well due to a low 90's fastball and a slider that peaks your interest.
As with any other HS prospect, it's pretty low. He's got the power and he has the athleticism, but he still may not hit. Scouts feel better than they did about his ability to hit in pro ball, but he'll still strikeout on a good breaking ball. That leaves his floor as a corner outfielder that hits his fair share of bombs but just doesn't create enough contact to ever make it out of the minors. Think of a guy like Colin DeLome
The better you feel about his ability to stay in center, the better you see his ceiling. He's signed on at University of Texas to be a CF and plays it now, but they aren't professional level. He'll swipe his share of bags, and he'll play solid defense, mostly because of a strong and accurate arm. His ceiling is probably of that of a .280 hitter with around 25-30 home runs.
Projected Draft Round
There's a chance Hawkins could be a top 10 pick on Monday, but he's a mid-1st rounder for sure. Probably not considered for the 1-1 spot and highly unlikely to be available in the supplemental round.
College Commitment: University of Texas
Will he sign?
That's a good question. A commitment to Texas is not taken lightly, but neither is the kind of money offered in the first round. I've read from a BA writer that they expect only one or two players not to sign from the first round, so the odds are that he will. But, with a HS kid who is committed to a good college program has it's risks.
Bibliography after the jump
The Texas high school product was shooting up draft boards as the 2012 spring season began, thanks to a very successful summer.
While he pitches and will touch 90 mph, his future is in the outfield. He has some swing-and-miss to his game, but he does have power. He has shown the ability to hit any fastball and can show pop to all fields, though he needs to improve his approach at the plate, where his over-aggressiveness leads to those misses.
An average to a tick-above-average runner, he’ll play center field for his high school team, but with his size, strength, power profile and at-least-average arm, the University of Texas commit profiles best as a corner outfielder in the future.
Hawkins is physically and athletically advanced for his age but also extremely raw, especially when grading his hit tool. He’s considered to be a high-risk, high-reward selection, the kind of player that could muster a low average with a ton of strikeouts or one that could be a classic right fielder with good defense, a great arm and 20/20 potential.