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BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com June 18, 2012 11:36PM
Paul Konerko of the White Sox, left, tags Tony Campana of the Cubs at first base in the fifth inning at U.S. Cellular Field Monday, June 18, 2012, in Chicago. Campana was called safe. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times
Updated: July 20, 2012 6:30AM
First-round draft choice Courtney Hawkins was introduced at U.S. Cellular Field, where he signed his contract before flashing part of his five-tool package taking batting practice with the White Sox.
“I’m going to try to develop into the best baseball player I can be and hopefully get up here as soon as I can,’’ said Hawkins, who will report to Advanced Rookie Bristol of the Appalachian League.
A power-hitting outfielder from Corpus Christi, Texas, Hawkins was the Sox’ first high school first-rounder since Kris Honel of Providence in 2001.
“He’s got a rare combination of the five-tool player,’’ general manager Ken Williams said. “He is that but ... he has little bit more polish than the norm.
Williams scouted Hawkins and saw “the ability to not just put a good swing on the ball, but the ability and knowhow to shorten his swing up, to widen his base with two strikes, to take a ball into right-center field and the awareness that’s that what he needs to do and to compete at a higher level.
“That, combined with the instincts you see on the baseball field convinced us that he’s not your typical high school five tool player. They never translate into ultimate success. We think they will translate into success and success very quickly.’’
Hawkins, 18, batted .437 with 11 home runs his senior season. The 6-3, 220-pounder also had an 0.96 ERA with 57 strikeouts and one save over 36 innings as a pitcher.
Hawkins signed for the recommended slot bonus of $2.475 million.
By agreeing to terms with sixth-round pitcher Kyle Hansen and seventh-round catcher Jose Barraza, the Sox have all 11 picks in top 10 rounds signed.
Now comes the tough part
Addison Reed half-expected to blow a save at some point this year. Letting one go after a performance like Jose Quintana’s was especially tough on Sunday in Los Angeles – especially with family and friends in attendance – was tough to take.
A day later, Reed was still fuming about leaving an 0-2 pitch to Bobby Abreu over the plate. Abreu started the inning with a single.
“That’s on me,’’ Reed said.
Now comes the test: Turning the page.
“Short term memory,’’ he said” You have to have one. Just forget about it and hope to have different results next time there is a save opportunity.’’
Konerko sees photo finish
Paul Konerko expects a knock-down, drag-out battle to the end in the AL Central race with the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians.
“It’s probably going to come down to the last week for sure if not the last day,’’ Konerko said. “You have to mentally prepare for that and don’t kill yourself every night if you don’t win while realizing how important every game is, too. Balancing those things is the hard part.’’