With half of our Top 50 Prospects list now in the books, a high school infielder leads off our second half at #25…
#25: Christopher Dominic Hawkins
Third Baseman / 19 years old / 6′2″ 195 lbs
Born: August 17th, 1991 in Sugar Hill, Georgia
Bats: Left Throws: Right
High School: North Gwinnett H.S.
Drafted By: The Toronto Blue Jays in the 3rd round (93rd overall) of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft for $350,000
Jersey Number: #16 for the GCL Blue Jays
- 2010 high school All-American
- A few links to some copyrighted images of Hawkins throwing, batting, and fielding
- 1st in at-bats (157), runs (29), hits (40), and errors (8)
- Tied for 1st in triples (3)
- 2nd in games played (46)
- Tied for 3rd in walks (15)
- 4th in doubles (9), total bases (55), and stolen bases (8)
- Tied for 4th in RBI (15)
- 5th in strikeouts (37)
Extra Information and previous experience:
Ranked by Baseball America as number 136 on their pre-draft top 200 prospects list, Hawkins is an athletic infielder who is a plus runner and has a plus bat.
Hawkins was not always as highly thought of though, as he entered 2010 as a fairly unknown prospect. He impressed national crosscheckers all spring, and vaulted up the draft board as a result. He helped lead his high school team to a playoff berth, and he carried a 29-hitting streak into the state 5-A playoff semifinals. He also set new school records with 14 home runs, 19 doubles, and 58 hits. His impressive 2010 high school season had scouts peg him to go as early as the second round in the 2010 draft.
The Jays took him with their first of two 3rd round picks, and he signed instantly before reporting to the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays.
So what did the Blue Jays see in him?
Blessed with natural athleticism, Hawkins is the kind of player that GM Alex Anthopoulos loves to get his hands on. A shortstop in high school, Hawkins shifted to primarily third base in the Jays’ system so far, a position he was likely to play had he fulfilled his commitment to the University of Tennessee. Many scouts, however, assume Hawkins will end up in center field because of his above-average speed, even though he has little experience there. He has the above-average arm to play center field, but if his frame turned out to be too big there, he’s athletic enough to handle the hot corner.
Hawkins’ most attractive tool is hit bat though. He has the ability to hit virtually anything in front of him, with good bat speed. He loads his hands very deep and doesn’t always let the ball travel as much as he should, but his above-average plate discipline for his age allows him to lay off certain pitches and adjust to pitchers who change speeds on him. He has been said to have average to above-average power potential, knowing when to swing for the fences and when to hit the ball to all fields. As he fills out his frame though, he could improve on his power potential, and combined with his ability to already hit for a high average, he could be quite an entertaining hitter. If he adds to these tools by applying his plus speed to the basepaths too, he could be a very special player.
Rookie ball statistics are usually always taken with a grain of salt, but Hawkins’ stats with the GCL Blue Jays this year were encouraging. With Hawkins signing so quickly, he was able to appear in 46 games before the end of the summer. His .255/.324/.350 line doesn’t look that impressive, but he ranked in the top 4 on his team in many offensive categories. His 9 doubles, 3 triples, 15 walks, are intriguing, and he went 8-for-11 in stolen base attempts. The errors he made at third base are understandable because he was adjusting to a new position, and the Jays tried him out in left field for 8 games near the end of the season, where he did not commit an error.
The left-handed hitting Hawkins finished his season on a high note as well, going 16-for-46 (.348) with 3 doubles, one triple, 4 walks, and 4 RBI in 13 August games for the GCL Blue Jays. At the end of the season, he ranked as the 17th best prospect in the Gulf Coast League by Baseball America.
Expected 2011 Team: Vancouver Canadians (SS)
Ultimate ceiling if he puts it all together: MLB
Hawkins’ numbers weren’t spectacular, but it’s easy to see the ability is there. It was his first taste of anything other than high school level baseball, and he had to play two new positions. The kid is just 19-years-old, and his encouraging showing with the GCL Jays should have him start the 2011 season with the Jays’ new short-season affiliate, the Vancouver Canadians.