The Chicago White Sox have taken a player from the collegiate ranks in the first round in each of the last nine drafts. 2009’s 23rd overall pick Jared Mitchell joins starting pitcher Chris Sale (2010, 13th overall), outfielder Keenyn Walker (2011, 47th overall), infielder Gordon Beckham (2008, eighth overall) Aaron Poreda (2007, 25th), Kyle McCulloch (2006, 30th) and Lance Broadway (2005, 15th) as the Sox last seven first-round picks.
Beckham is the team’s everyday second baseman and Sale is arguably the team’s best starting pitcher, so as you can see this strategy is working. Usually only about half of a first round even makes it to the big leagues, so if you can get production like the White Sox have out of your drafts, you’re doing something right.
But tonight the Sox went a different route, selecting high school outfielder Courtney Hawkins.
He is not be confused with late 1980s Michigan State wide receiver Courtney Hawkins, who played in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1990s. The 6-3, 220 Corpus Christi, TX native did a back flip for MLB Network television cameras tonight after he was picked 13th overall.
Hawkins is the first high school player taken by the Sox in the first round since right-handed pitcher Kris Honel of Providence in 2001.
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