BLUF: Raw athlete with big-time power potential and a right field profile.
The Player: Courtney Hawkins (OF/RHP, Carroll HS) – One of the more improved high school players in this year’s draft class. He has improved steadily over the last two years. Through 29 games this spring, Hawkins was hitting .452/.589/.952 with ten home runs and 16 stolen bases. He is also an accomplished pitcher, posting a 0.83 ERA in eight games with 44 strikeouts in just 25.1 innings. Hawkins is committed to the University of Texas.
Basis of Report: Industry Contacts
Body (6-3, 210): Plus athlete. Physically mature kid. MLB body right now. Plus-plus strength. Explosive, fast-twitch strength and athleticism. Thick body with broad shoulders and chiseled features. Should maintain athleticism as he finishes maturing. Plus-plus pro body.
Hit: Extremely raw hitter overall. Has exceptional strength in hands/wrists and can drive the ball to all fields. Lots of moving parts in setup and trigger. Head movement can take him off the ball and results in plenty of swing and miss, particularly against quality secondary pitches. Free-swinging approach. Doesn’t look for pitches he can drive. Handles big-time velocity very well. Can make contact in any part of the zone on fastballs. May never be more than a below-average hitter because of moving parts and approach. Grade – 20/40
Power: Big, powerful swing. Can drive the ball out of any park. Tons of present pull-side power. Has strength to go out the other way but raw hitting ability isn’t there for it to play in games. Has 25+ home run potential given raw strength and plus-plus bat speed. Doesn’t need a ton of loft in swing to drive the ball out. Can get out front and struggles to drive secondary pitches. Needs to temper approach and make more consistent contact for raw power to play long term. Grade (raw power) – 30/60
Arm: Has reached 90-92 mph off the mound in short bursts. Arm strength plays well in the outfield. True plus arm that can profile in right field. A quick release and solid accuracy help his arm play up. Grade – 60/60
Fielding: Has athleticism and raw tools to be a plus defender. Runs well, takes solid routes but is often late in his initial read off the bat. Scouts are split on ability to stick in CF as opposed to move to RF. Profiles as classic power, defense and arm strength right fielder. Grade – 40/60
Speed: Runs above-average once underway. Will flash plus times from home to first when he gets out of the box, but big swing typically slows him down to an average in-game level. May lose a tick as he completes physical maturation. Projects as fringe-average to average runner long term. Grade – 50/50
Summation: Extremely raw all around. Has plenty of power projection but has to hit for it to matter. Quieter pre-pitch mechanics will help hitting ability and could help make him more of a .250-.260 hitter long term. Unlikely to ever work counts consistently. Aggressive mentality and preference for big power will always hamper his raw hitting. Power could make up lack of secondary offensive skills if he can make enough contact. Power needs to play to profile in RF. Unlikely to have defensive ability for CF, putting more pressure on the bat.
Relative Risk: High. Sort of a boom or bust type that could be a power hitting corner outfielder or be stuck in no-man’s land with a ton of swing and miss.
Draft Projection: Potential to go as high as the middle of the first round. Athleticism, physicality and power potential make him intriguing and unusual for a high school player.