White sox select Courtney Hawkins with their first pick of the 2012 MLB Draft

The Chicago White Sox selected outfielder Courtney Hawkins out of Carroll High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, with their first pick (13th overall) in tonight’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Hawkins, an 18-year-old senior, is batting .437 (45-138) with 11 home runs, 39 RBI, 56 runs scored, 17 stolen bases, a .580 on-base and .874 slugging percentage in 36 games with the Tigers this season.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Hawkins also is 5-2 with a 0.96 ERA (5 ER/36.1 IP), 57 strikeouts and one save this season.  Carroll High School is currently participating in the Texas 5A State baseball tournament.

 “First and foremost, Courtney is a quality young man who we’ve followed for several years at various showcases, including our own Double Duty Classic,” said White Sox scouting director Doug Laumann.  “We’ve had a lot of people in to see him, and he has developed into the type of player we expected.  This pick may seem like we are going away from our tendency with a high school player, but this kid has too much potential for us to pass up.  We are enormously excited.”

            Hawkins, a native of Corpus Christi, was rated by Baseball America as the No. 15 Prospect overall and the Second Best Power Hitter among high school players.  The ESPNHS Gatorade Texas Baseball Player of the Year signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at the University of Texas.

Hawkins played for the West squad in the 2011 Double Duty Classic at U.S. Cellular Field and was named co-Most Valuable Player.

The Sox, who did not own a first-round pick in 2011 for the first time since 1978, selected a high school player with their first pick for the first time since 2001 (right-handed pitcher Kris Honel).  Chicago drafted a position player with its opening selection for the fourth time in the last five years.

Hawkins, who bats and throws right-handed, joins outfielder Keenyn Walker (2011, 47th overall), left-handed pitcher Chris Sale (2010, 13th), outfielder Jared Mitchell (2009, 23rd) and infielder Gordon Beckham (2008, 8th) as the White Sox most recent first selections in the draft.

Hawkins was recommended by White Sox scout Keith Staab.