Courtney Hawkins may want to be on the fast track, but the White Sox aren't putting him on it just yet.
The 13th overall pick in 2012's amateur draft will begin 2014 at Single-A Winston-Salem, the same level he played at last year. Hawkins struggled over 103 games, posting a .178/249/.384 slash line with 19 home runs, 10 stolen bases and 160 strikeouts to 29 walks.
Still, the 20-year-old fashions himself ready for the next level, though the White Sox message to him is clear.
"He's gotta slow it down," director of player development Nick Capra said. "He wants to be on the fast track, but for him, you gotta do what you're doing today and not look in the future, not look for tomorrow. Play the game today, evaluate what you've done today, come back and do it tomorrow."
While Hawkins may already be eyeing a promotion to Double-A Birmingham, that'll only come with success in Winston-Salem. It's sort of a vicious cycle -- the more Hawkins thinks about moving up, the less he's able to slow down, which then hinders his production at the plate.
But the White Sox are confident in Hawkins' ability, which Capra said was impressively on display during a hitters mini-camp in Arizona earlier this winter. If that showing can translate to the grind of a minor league season, then Hawkins will get his fast track wish.
"He's swinging at the ball before it's out of the pitcher's hand because that's the mode he's in," Capra said. "He's gotta be able to slow it down. He'll learn how to do it."