Hawkins Wants To Keep It Up

Outfielder Chris Hawkins stepped up during the 2011 Appalachian League season as one of the leaders at Bluefield. The third-round draft pick from 2010 saw improvements in all areas of his game. He's looking to continue progressing at Instructs.

"For me, I thought Chris Hawkins was the player of the year in the league," Bluefield hitting coach Kenny Graham said. "What he did for this team and the hits he came up with night after night, it was pretty remarkable. I feel blessed that I was here and got to watch him play all year and see what he can contribute to a team."

Hawkins consistently came through with big hits while helping Bluefield reach the Appalachian League Championship finals. He finished the season hitting .318 with 15 doubles, five home runs, and 52 RBIs.

"If you saw Chris Hawkins from the first day he stepped in here and became a Toronto Blue Jay, his entire game has improved," said Graham. "From his defense to his base running to his swing, everything is a reflection of his character and work ethic."

Hawkins said his mindset at the plate got better as the season progressed. Along with Graham and roving hitting coach Anthony Iapoce, Hawkins said credit goes to Toronto performance coach Steve Springer.

"I think I drove the baseball a lot more," said Hawkins. "I think my mind was a lot better at the plate. I think I'm firing my backside a lot more and just trying to quiet up my swing."

Hawkins said he wants to continue working on his swing and his defense at Instructs.

"I want to continue shortening my swing, firing the back side, and getting a nice, easy load," said Hawkins. "I also want to work on getting better first jumps in the outfield and continue strengthening my arm, getting bigger and stronger."

Graham said he wants to see Hawkins make some improvements in base stealing. Hawkins had 14 steals in 18 attempts this season.

"He's a guy with speed," said Graham. "He got some steals this year, but I think that number's got to go up for him."

Hawkins agreed with Graham, saying he has a lot of room for improvement with his base stealing.

"I can definitely improve on getting better leads, getting better jumps," said Hawkins. "I can definitely get better leads and better jumps than I did this year. We'll probably work on that at Instructs."

Graham expects Hawkins to continue progressing.

"He's just got to keep doing the same thing he's been doing," said Graham. "What he did numbers-wise this year and with his swing is a reflection of how much he's improved.

"This is just his second year playing outfield. He was an infielder coming into the organization. Defensively, he's just got to keep improving out there; improve his routes and improve his arm strength."


Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"For me, I thought Chris Hawkins was the player of the year in the league,\" Bluefield hitting coach Kenny Graham said. \"What he did for this team and the hits he came up with night after night, it was pretty remarkable. I feel blessed that I was here and got to watch him play all year and see what he can contribute to a team.\"
\r\n
\r\nHawkins consistently came through with big hits while helping Bluefield reach the Appalachian League Championship finals. He finished the season hitting .318 with 15 doubles, five home runs, and 52 RBIs.
\r\n
\r\n\"If you saw Chris Hawkins from the first day he stepped in here and became a Toronto Blue Jay, his entire game has improved,\" said Graham. \"From his defense to his base running to his swing, everything is a reflection of his character and work ethic.\"
\r\n
\r\nHawkins said his mindset at the plate got better as the season progressed. Along with Graham and roving hitting coach Anthony Iapoce, Hawkins said credit goes to Toronto performance coach Steve Springer.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think I drove the baseball a lot more,\" said Hawkins. \"I think my mind was a lot better at the plate. I think I'm firing my backside a lot more and just trying to quiet up my swing.\"
\r\n
\r\nHawkins said he wants to continue working on his swing and his defense at Instructs.
\r\n
\r\n\"I want to continue shortening my swing, firing the back side, and getting a nice, easy load,\" said Hawkins. \"I also want to work on getting better first jumps in the outfield and continue strengthening my arm, getting bigger and stronger.\"
\r\n
\r\nGraham said he wants to see Hawkins make some improvements in base stealing. Hawkins had 14 steals in 18 attempts this season.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's a guy with speed,\" said Graham. \"He got some steals this year, but I think that number's got to go up for him.\"
\r\n
\r\nHawkins agreed with Graham, saying he has a lot of room for improvement with his base stealing.
\r\n
\r\n\"I can definitely improve on getting better leads, getting better jumps,\" said Hawkins. \"I can definitely get better leads and better jumps than I did this year. We'll probably work on that at Instructs.\"
\r\n
\r\nGraham expects Hawkins to continue progressing.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's just got to keep doing the same thing he's been doing,\" said Graham. \"What he did numbers-wise this year and with his swing is a reflection of how much he's improved.
\r\n
\r\n\"This is just his second year playing outfield. He was an infielder coming into the organization. Defensively, he's just got to keep improving out there; improve his routes and improve his arm strength.\"
\r\n
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