Courtney Hawkins Doing A Backflip At NHSI (via BaseballAmericaVideo)
Courtney Hawkins is an athletic high school outfielder from Texas that projects as a top fifteen pick in the upcoming MLB Amateur draft. With the Marlins picking at nine, they could decide to take a chance on Hawkins and hope that his bat develops into a middle of the order type hitter. The Marlins have not drafted a high school outfielder (Christian Yelich was originally drafted as a first baseman) with their first pick since they drafted Jeremy Hermida in 2002, but Hawkins' tools could be too difficult to resist.
Courtney Hawkins was born in November of 1993 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Corpus Christi is a baseball hotspot that is home to the Astros Double-A affiliate, and also the hometown of Cliff Pennington, Mike Adams, and David Freese. Hawkins attended Carroll high school, and hit .412 as a senior on his way to being named the Texas Baseball Player of the Year. He also had a 0.92 ERA pitching in his senior season and he played for the elite USA Baseball program throughout his high school career.
Hawkins is currently committed to the University of Texas, but if he is drafted in the top fifteen picks, I'd be surprised if he didn't go professional. Courtney Hawkins stands roughly 6'3 and weighs about 210 pounds. He is a right-handed thrower and hitter. As a pitcher, Hawkins was recorded throwing as hard as 93 MPH. If things don't pan out for Hawkins as a hitter, he could attempt to return to hitting.
The main reason Hawkins is perceived as a first-round talent is his raw power. For a high school athlete, he is about as strong as they come. He has a lot of swing and miss in his swing, but most of the time when he makes contact with the ball it goes a very long ways. In terms of his offensive ceiling, I think Hawkins is capable of hitting .265 with twenty-five homers and twenty stolen bases perennially. That might not be an All-Star, but any player that can put up that stat line is going to have a job in the majors for a long time.
Hawkins is an outstanding athlete. As you can see in the video at the top of this article, even as a well-built teenager, Hawkins is still flexible and athletic enough to perform a backflip. With his athleticism, covering the ground required for a corner outfield position shouldn't be too difficult. Add in that he has a plus arm, and Hawkins has the potential to be an above-average defender in right field.
On Twitter a couple of days ago, Baseball America's Jim Callis said that the highest he could see Hawkins being drafted would be eighth, and the lowest would be 17. While I do think that Hawkins has the chance to slip into the twenties, eighth does seem like the highest he could be drafted. If the Marlins were to draft Hawkins, they would have to be fairly cost-efficient with the rest of their draft due to the new CBA.