Courtney Hawkins' fastball sits in the low 90s and tops out at 94. He features an impressive slider and throws a splitter. Yet, it's with the bat that the Corpus Christi (Texas) Carroll HS star figures to earn a living.
Minorleagueball.com has Hawkins going to Cincinnati with the 14th overall pick in the MLB Draft June 4-6. The stout 6-foot-2, 210-pound outfielder is regarded by many as the second-best high school hitter available, behind only Georgia outfielder Byron Buxton.
A physical specimen with plenty of tools, Hawkins has 10 home runs, 35 RBI and is batting .468 with 14 stolen bases and 47 runs scored. Despite possessing the best power of any high schooler in the draft, Hawkins bats leadoff so that, according to his coach, "he is more difficult to pitch around."
Hawkins is 3-1 with a 0.83 ERA, but prefers hitting to pitching. A testament to his athleticism is that he can do a backflip. Hawkins' arm, power and speed rate above average. He plays all three outfield positions, but figures to settle in right as a pro. Hawkins is intelligent and plays hard.
A Texas signee after changing his commitment from Oklahoma, Hawkins is a four-year starter for one of the nation's premier high school programs. He is strong enough that he doesn't have to get all of a pitch to hit it out of the park. Scouts say he has some work to do on his approach to hitting, especially because he gets out in front of breaking balls and strikes out more often than he should. Hawkins attacks pitches and has performed well against strong competition, especially opening eyes when he starred at the National High School Invitational against the nation's best talent.
Hawkins figures to go in the top 15 picks. He is not without risk, but his high ceiling has some scouts calling him a potential 30 home run, 20 stolen base player.