White Sox Make Hawkins First Prep First-Rounder In A Decade





CHICAGO—A week before the White Sox selected Texas high school outfielder Courtney Hawkins with their first pick, general manager Ken Williams said he merely told scouting director Doug Laumann to select the most impactful player with the 13th overall selection.

Shortly after Chicago selected Hawkins, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound outfielder from Corpus Christi's Carroll High made an instant impression by performing a back flip on national television.

"Mr. Williams said no more back flips," Hawkins said.

Laumann laughed, adding: "I wasn't tickled to death."

But selecting Hawkins with their top pick represented a significant moment for the White Sox, who hadn't taken a prep player in the first round since righthander Kris Honel in 2001.

As early as three weeks prior to the draft, Laumann predicted that 2012 could be an ideal year for the organization to take a high school player with their first pick.

"We were somewhat surprised," Laumann said. "We had heard (Hawkins') name probably from three or four other clubs ahead of us. I can probably feel very confident that not a whole lot of people had us on him, being it was a high school position player, a little bit out of the ordinary from what we done in the past.

"But we had him targeted for a long time. We're very pleased he got to us."

Barring any injuries in the final week of his high school season, Hawkins should be ready to provide the White Sox with the all-around talent they seek. He was batting .437/.580/.874 with 11 home runs and 17 stolen bases in 36 high school games. A two-way player, Hawkins went 5-2, 0.96 on the mound with 57 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings.

"First and foremost, Courtney is a quality young man who we've followed for several years at various showcases, including our own Double Duty Classic (at U.S. Cellular Field last June)," Laumann said.

Hawkins, who committed to Texas, felt comfortable with the Chicago staff during his visit to the South Side last summer. He earned co-MVP honors at the Double Duty Classic, which recognizes the history of Negro Leagues baseball in Chicago and promotes the next wave of inner-city baseball players.

"It was amazing," Hawkins said. "It was a big eye-opener to play for that and see Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron on the scoreboard and know what we were playing for."

CHI-LITES

• The White Sox selected lefthanded-hitting first baseman Keon Barnum of Tampa's King High with the 48th overall selection. The 19-year-old has drawn comparisons to Fred McGriff and Ryan Howard because of his 6-foot-5, 225-pound frame and his power potential. Williams personally scouted Barnum in a workout a week prior to the draft and also watched Hawkins earlier this spring.

• Triple-A Charlotte righthander Terry Doyle earned International League pitcher of the week honors for going 2-0, 1.35 for the week of May 28-June 3.