Minor League Prospect Note: Courtney Hawkins, OF, Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox promoted 2012 first-round pick Courtney Hawkins last night, jumping him from Bristol in the rookie-level Appalachian League to Kannapolis in the Low-A South Atlantic League. He went 1-for-1 with a walk and a stolen base in his full-season debut.
Hawkins was the 13th-overall pick in the 2012 draft, out of high school in Corpus Christi, Texas. I can understand the desire to push your first-round pick, and Hawkins has enormous power potential. But on meritocratic grounds, the promotion seems dubious to me.
Hawkins was performing adequately in the Appy League, but wasn't exactly setting the place on fire, hitting .272/.314/.401 with seven walks and 37 strikeouts in 147 at-bats over 38 games. He'd stolen eight bases in 10 attempts, which is nice, but he wasn't dominating the competition by any means (his OPS was 58th in the league). His plate discipline has been poor so far, and the pitch recognition skills that were questionable in high school still are.
Scouting reports remain positive for his long-term outlook, but don't indicate that he's blowing people away in the way that would normally call for a promotion. It will be very interesting to see how he responds.