Results tagged ‘ Courtney Hawkins ’
Opening Day for Major League Baseball took place on Monday, however, Opening Day for the Carolina Mudcats (A+ affiliates of the Indians), of the Carolina League, is taking place later tonight. For the second season in a row, I’m attending tonight’s game, once again versus the Winston Salem Dash (A+ affiliates of the White Sox), and I’m extremely excited. This year’s Opening Day game is packed with top notch talent.
For the Carolina Mudcats, while their pitching staff isn’t too fantastic, their position players include the organization’s number one prospect, Francisco Lindor, 2012 1st round draft pick, Tyler Naquin, along with top prospect, Tony Wolters, who is making the transition this season from short stop to catcher. Wolters played with the Mudcats last season, and I really enjoyed watching him play. I’m looking forward to seeing how the move to behind the plate plays out.
As far as the Dash go, the highlight of the team is undoubtedly Courtney Hawkins, who was drafted 13th overall in last year’s draft; doing a backflip afterwards. Though Hawkins won’t be doing any backflips (as far as I know), I’m looking forward to seeing the White Sox’ number one prospect in action–maybe he’ll even blast a home run. If nothing else, I’m certainly going to try for his autograph, as I’m also planning to do from the Mudcats’ Francisco Lindor and Tyler Naquin.
But when it comes to autograph collecting, no other game throughout the entire rest of the season will have more highly ranked prospects than the April 9th Durham Bulls game I’m planning to attend. Having been traded from the Royals’ organization to the Rays, in the 2012 offseason, the number four prospect in all of baseball, Wil Myers, will be there and is sure to draw a huge crowd, so autographs may be hard to come by. I’ll just have wait and see how it goes.
A few other Bulls’ players worth mentioning, that I’m hoping to get autographs from on Tuesday night, include Jake Odorizzi, Chris Archer and Hak-Ju Lee, who are the Rays’ third, fourth and fifth ranked prospects, respectively. In all, the Bulls are beginning the season with 7 of the top 20 prospects in the organization. I can’t think of a team in all of minor league baseball with more talent, which is why I’m going to be blogging about the game. It will likely be posted on Wednesday afternoon.
So that’s the basic plan for my first two minor league games of the year. I’m not sure when, or where, the rest of the year will have me going to games; the only game set in stone is the June 3rd Bulls day game, when they take on the Red Barons (Yankees affiliate). But one of the games during the series when Billy Hamilton comes to Durham with Louisville is almost a sure bet, as well. Other than that, I don’t know.
Courtney Hawkins was drafted out of high school by the Chicago White Sox in the 1st round of the 2012 draft. Initially catching the attention of baseball fans everywhere after performing his “signature” backflip on draft night, Hawkins was able to make a name for himself this past season.
In Hawkins’ first (partial) season as a pro ballplayer, he put up some impressive numbers. Combined between three different teams/levels (Rk, A and A+), Hawkins posted a batting average of .284 to go along with 8 home runs and 33 RBI’s, over the course of 59 games; Certainly living up to the expectations that come with being a first round draft pick.
If Courtney Hawkins can continue to post the same type of numbers, it shouldn’t be too terribly long before he’s big league ready–he’s truly that good. Hawkins’ showed signs of his above average power this past season, and will be well worth watching in 2013 and beyond.
Courtney Hawkins–number 2 prospect in the White Sox organization–took the time recently to answer some of my questions:
1.) At what age did you first become interested in baseball?
Age 4, but my dad wouldn’t let me play until I learned the basics of baseball. So I started at the age of 5.
2.) Who was your favorite baseball player growing up? Why?
Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds [and] Frank Thomas, because I felt these guys had it all; the ability to hit and play defense. And definitely Griffey, because I try to play like him. Just balls to the walls, full tilt the whole game!
3.) You’re known for the backflip you did after being drafted by the White Sox on draft night, but that wasn’t the first time you’d ever done one. When did you first master the skill, and where did the inspiration come from?
Haha. I was asked to do a high school pep rally skit and I was at practice one day, playing around doing front flips, and the instructor came over and said try this; and 30 minutes later I was doing flips, and didn’t stop until after draft night.
4.) This was your first (partial) season of professional baseball. What did you take from it, in terms of how it differs from any level of ball you’d ever played in before?
Basically just playing every single day and throwing every single day–it’s a grind. It was fun when I first started; then I got tired; then I was good again. I found my routine, and it was good.
5.) What do you feel went well in 2012? What do you feel you need to work on for 2013?
I feel everything went well, but [I] could always be better. I feel I have to work on every thing because I’m not in the bigs yet, and even then I will still have to work on stuff.
6.) What does your average day consist of at the moment?
Just working out twice a day and traveling. That’s it.
7.) Is there any one player that you model your game after?
Like I said, I try to play like Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Bonds. Just balls to the wall everyday. Grinding, battling and trying to produce in the field, at the plate and on the bases.
8.) Favorite food?
Any seafood or southern Cajun–country food.
9.) Favorite TV show?
MLB Network [and] ‘Walking Dead’.
10.) Lastly, what advice would you give to kids who are just starting out that dream of playing professional baseball one day?
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something; or you won’t; or that you’re not good enough. If you set your mind to it, you can do it.
Big thanks to Courtney Hawkins for taking the time to answer my questions.
You can follow him on twitter: @CHawkins10