Hawkins Building Confidence

LANSING, MI - It will be a challenging transition for prospect Chris Hawkins to play 140 games this season opposed to the 70 he played in 2011 with Rookie affiliate Bluefield Blue Jays. Hawkins has a long and difficult road ahead, but he has the confidence and knows that he has what it takes to be where he is today.

Hawkins displayed his potential well in his time in Bluefield last year, hitting .313 with five home runs and 52 runs batted in. While he is proud of what he did last year, he realizes that it is a new season and that it is time to move forward.

"Last year does not really matter anymore, but I know I have it in myself to have success here at this level," Hawkins said.

The jump from the Rookie affiliate team to the Class ‘A' Midwest League is a big one. There is a more extensive responsibility and approach for Hawkins to progress steadily over a long season. There is much expected of him this year with the giant step Hawkins took.

"We expect him [Hawkins] to go out there and improve daily," manager John Tamargo said. "I expect big things out of him."

At Hawkins' pace of progression now, he has the capability to move steady throughout this organization to the big level.

His offseason habits were key in his productiveness and his jump to Lansing. Hawkins said that he worked on many defensive aspects of his game in both left and right field. He had a great focus on his hitting, as well.

"I hit the gym to get bigger and more flexible," Hawkins said. "I had time to work on my swing, trying to get my lower half into the swing more and more."

With the lower half of Hawkins' body into his motion, he looks for a more leveled swing to put the ball over the outfielder's heads. Hawkins and the organization are working together to work out the full potential in him.

Hawkins has good supervision in hitting coach Kenny Graham when practicing with his swing. Graham praised Hawkins' offseason routine of workouts to further assist his swing.

"He worked to shorten his swing up to make more consistent, quality contact," Graham said. "That is what he had to prove in the spring, and he did it."

Hawkins showed promise by proving himself with the time he had in the offseason and spring training, but he knew he had to continue and hit the ground running this season.

The Lansing staff had not seen Hawkins often in Bluefield, but they were aware of his proficiencies. He gave the team a reason to not only watch, but to have him stick around. Hawkins had one of the more productive spring performances on the Lugnuts' team.

"He has showed up and worked," Graham said. "Every time he steps in the cage, every time he steps into the box, he always has a plan, and he does a great job of executing that plan."

During the spring, Hawkins showed off his aptitude at the plate and showed the organization what they are so excited about.

"He had a great spring, he hit home runs, he really swung the bat well," Tamargo said. "And again, we expect him to continue with what he did in the spring and the great year he had last year."

Hawkins is not wasting his or anyone else's time with the hard work that he is putting into his game for the organization. The Lugnuts and the entire organization realize the true talent that Hawkins possesses.

Manager Tamargo said that Hawkins has the "tools" of the game. Hawkins has great overall ability with running, playing outfield, and hitting, of course. Hawkins' hitting skill is a feature of his game that the organization is particularly eager about analyzing this season and excited to see him excel in the years to come.

"He is strong, and when he puts the barrel on the ball, he can do some really good things with the bat," Tamargo said.

Hawkins knows what position he is in and knows there is no time to waste. He and the rest of the team recognize a sense of anticipation this year for the Lugnuts.

"We have a great group of guys. I know I have my teammates to pick me up when needed and I am excited to see what happens this year," Hawkins said.


Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nHawkins displayed his potential well in his time in Bluefield last year, hitting .313 with five home runs and 52 runs batted in. While he is proud of what he did last year, he realizes that it is a new season and that it is time to move forward.
\r\n
\r\n\"Last year does not really matter anymore, but I know I have it in myself to have success here at this level,\" Hawkins said.
\r\n
\r\nThe jump from the Rookie affiliate team to the Class ‘A' Midwest League is a big one. There is a more extensive responsibility and approach for Hawkins to progress steadily over a long season. There is much expected of him this year with the giant step Hawkins took.
\r\n
\r\n\"We expect him [Hawkins] to go out there and improve daily,\" manager John Tamargo said. \"I expect big things out of him.\"
\r\n
\r\nAt Hawkins' pace of progression now, he has the capability to move steady throughout this organization to the big level.
\r\n
\r\nHis offseason habits were key in his productiveness and his jump to Lansing.\r\nHawkins said that he worked on many defensive aspects of his game in both left and right field. He had a great focus on his hitting, as well.
\r\n
\r\n\"I hit the gym to get bigger and more flexible,\" Hawkins said. \"I had time to work on my swing, trying to get my lower half into the swing more and more.\"
\r\n
\r\nWith the lower half of Hawkins' body into his motion, he looks for a more leveled swing to put the ball over the outfielder's heads. Hawkins and the organization are working together to work out the full potential in him.
\r\n
\r\nHawkins has good supervision in hitting coach Kenny Graham when practicing with his swing. Graham praised Hawkins' offseason routine of workouts to further assist his swing.
\r\n
\r\n\"He worked to shorten his swing up to make more consistent, quality contact,\" Graham said. \"That is what he had to prove in the spring, and he did it.\"
\r\n
\r\nHawkins showed promise by proving himself with the time he had in the offseason and spring training, but he knew he had to continue and hit the ground running this season.
\r\n
\r\nThe Lansing staff had not seen Hawkins often in Bluefield, but they were aware of his proficiencies. He gave the team a reason to not only watch, but to have him stick around. Hawkins had one of the more productive spring performances on the Lugnuts' team.
\r\n
\r\n\"He has showed up and worked,\" Graham said. \"Every time he steps in the cage, every time he steps into the box, he always has a plan, and he does a great job of executing that plan.\"
\r\n
\r\nDuring the spring, Hawkins showed off his aptitude at the plate and showed the organization what they are so excited about.
\r\n
\r\n\"He had a great spring, he hit home runs, he really swung the bat well,\" Tamargo said. \"And again, we expect him to continue with what he did in the spring and the great year he had last year.\"
\r\n
\r\nHawkins is not wasting his or anyone else's time with the hard work that he is putting into his game for the organization. The Lugnuts and the entire organization realize the true talent that Hawkins possesses.
\r\n
\r\nManager Tamargo said that Hawkins has the \"tools\" of the game. Hawkins has great overall ability with running, playing outfield, and hitting, of course. Hawkins' hitting skill is a feature of his game that the organization is particularly eager about analyzing this season and excited to see him excel in the years to come.
\r\n
\r\n\"He is strong, and when he puts the barrel on the ball, he can do some really good things with the bat,\" Tamargo said.
\r\n
\r\nHawkins knows what position he is in and knows there is no time to waste. He and the rest of the team recognize a sense of anticipation this year for the Lugnuts.
\r\n
\r\n\"We have a great group of guys. I know I have my teammates to pick me up when needed and I am excited to see what happens this year,\" Hawkins said.
\r\n
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