- Full name Christopher Dominic Hawkins
- Born 08/17/1991 in Sugar Hill, GA
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 195 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School North Gwinnett
Drafted in the 3rd round (93rd overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010 (signed for $350,000).
View Draft ReportHawkins is a high school shortstop who is projected to play third base if he winds up at Tennessee. Most scouts don't necessarily see him staying in the dirt as a pro, but they do see tools that stand out even among Georgia's deep, talented class of high school athletes. Most project him as a center fielder thanks to his above-average speed. That has some scouts dreaming of Hawkins, a lefthanded hitter, as a poor man's Colby Rasmus, but he isn't as easy or fluid as Rasmus was at the same stage. Hawkns also has arm strength, and if his 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame proves too big for him to stay in center, he is athletic enough to handle a corner. Hawkins doesn't have Rasmus' all-around hitting ability, but he has a track record of success and has shown the ability to catch up to good fastballs this spring. He has performed well in front of crosscheckers all spring, leading North Gwinnett to a playoff berth while surpassing double digits in home runs. He carried a 29-game hitting streak into the state 5-A playoff semifinals, having set school records with 14 homers, 19 doubles and 58 hits. The strong finish was pushing Hawkins up draft boards, and he was considered a potential second- or third-round selection.
Organization Prospect Rankings
A third-round pick in 2010, Hawkins signed for $350,000 and passed up a scholarship to Tennessee. A shortstop in high school, he initially moved to the hot corner in pro ball before landing in left field. The position shifts have increased the offensive demands on him, and he took a step back with a lackluster performance in low Class A in 2012. Hawkins can look stiff and awkward, but his quick hands and strong wrists help him get around an arm bar in his swing. He makes consistent contact, almost to a fault, routinely putting pitches in play that he can't drive. He walks at a decent clip and could develop into a solid hitter with average power if he refines his plate discipline. He's still learning his swing. A fringy runner who's quicker once he gets going, Hawkins went 11-for-11 stealing bases last season. Despite his 14 assists in 2012, his arm is below-average and not particularly accurate. After getting through the pitcher-friendly Midwest League, he'll face another difficult hitting environment when he moves up to the Florida State League in 2013.
Hawkins bypassed a scholarship to Tennessee to sign for a slightly below-slot $350,000 as a third-round pick in 2010. He was a high school shortstop who moved to third base in his pro debut, but he struggled at the hot corner and moved to left field last season. If his performance in the Rookie-level Appalachian League is any indication, he may have enough bat for the position. Everything Hawkins does looks stiff and awkward at first, though it works. He has an arm bar in his swing, but he makes up for it with strong, quick wrists that help him consistently square pitches up. He could have average or better power down the line. More experienced pitchers might pose a challenge when they bust harder stuff inside, but he has good strength and draws walks at a solid rate. Hawkins runs well once he gets going and racked up six triples last summer. He's limited to left field because of his fringy arm and he can make the routine play there. He'll advance to low Class A in 2012.
Part of an exceptionally deep Georgia high school class of athletic position players, Hawkins declined a Tennessee scholarship to sign for $350,000 as a third-round pick in June. When he turned pro, he had an unorthodox swing that included an arm bar and had his upper body doing most of the work. He has started to smooth out his stroke and incorporate his lower half more, which helped him finish 2010 on a strong note by batting .304 in August. He still needs to shorten his swing some more, but he has a quick bat and shows plus raw power in batting practice. A shortstop in high school, Hawkins moved to third base in pro ball and also saw time in left field at the end of his pro debut. Some amateur scouts projected him as a center fielder, and he has the above-average speed and instincts to make that happen. His average arm plays up because he gets to balls quickly and has a compact release. Because he'll need some time to develop and the Blue Jays have several young third basemen and outfielders headed to low Class A, Hawkins figures to play 2011 at Auburn.
Minor League Top Prospects
In two short years, Hawkins has tumbled down the defensive spectrum, moving from shortstop in high school to third base in his 2010 pro debut to left field this season, but his bat might be up to the task. "You have to watch him a lot to like him," Johns said. "Everything he does is awkward, but he has big tools." Though he bars his arm and doesn't have a classic lefthanded swing, Hawkins drew generally optimistic reviews because of his strong, quick wrists and because his bat head stays in the hitting zone a long time, allowing him to drive through the ball. His 15 doubles and six triples hint at untapped home run power, which could be average to plus down the line. Pitchers with better command might be able to bust him in with hard stuff, cutting into his average, but he has fended them off thus far with solid walk and strikeout rates. Hawkins' fringe-average arm probably limits him to left field, and he's still learning the nuances of his new position. He runs well and makes the routine play.
Part of the Blue Jays' draft bonanza, Hawkins was their eighth selection but a third-rounder. He finished his debut on a strong note, batting .304/.391/.411 in August. Hawkins has good bat speed but will need to shorten his swing. He has at least average power potential and plus speed, and moves well enough that scouts who covered him as an amateur projected him as a center fielder. The Blue Jays mostly deployed him at third base, where he showed a strong arm, and he played eight games in left field at the end of the season.