<
>

Position players show strong arms and big bats

RIVER GROVE, Ill.--The setting for the second day of the Chicago White Sox Area Code tryouts was fitting. Trinity Junior College is a Midwestern powerhouse justly famous for producing the late Kirby Puckett, the South Side Chicago-native who tormented the Sox and the rest of the league with division rival Minnesota Twins.

With Puckett's retired jersey adorning the left-center wall, it proved not only symbolic though a tribute, a place for aspiring young big leaguers to show their mettle and all-around game before a battery of professional scouts and college recruiters.

White Sox Midwestern area scout Dan Durst orchestrated the tryouts, putting more than 150 players through running, fielding, throwing and hitting exercises.

Here are further reports on the highlight players.

Courtney Hawkins
Carroll (Corpus Christi, Texas) 2012
The 6-3, 220-pound slugger, a pitcher and outfielder, put on a devastating hitting display. The ball simply exploded off his bat, a series of violent collisions that saw him put one ball more than 400 feet over the centerfield wall.

Blake Hickman
Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) 2012
The lanky catcher also impressed with his power, bat speed and balance at the plate. Defensively, he revealed a gun of an arm.

Chuckie Robinson
Danville (Danville, Ill.) 2013
The powerfully built (6-1, 225) catcher showed off a stunning swing that resulted in a series of hard shots and warning track depth.

Darrell Miller Jr.
Servite (Linda, Calif.) 2012
The catcher made the long trip worth it by raking the outfield with several sharply hit balls. His mechanics were not always sharp, but his power and bat speed proved a vital correction.

Kevin Ross
Niles West (Skokie, Ill.) 2012
The rangy infielder demonstrated excellent bat speed and superb power and the ability to spray the ball into different fields. He also hit the ball with power.

Bryce Only
Huntley (Huntley, Ill.) 2013
The pitcher and infielder revealed a compact swing, sharp stroke and excellent bat speed that allowed him to drive the ball with power.

Shaquille Cockrell
Walther Lutheran (Chicago, Ill.) 2012
After leading his high school team to the Class 2A state runner-up, the athletic outfielder revealed a smooth swing and the ability to hit for power and average.

Durst was impressed by the collective display of talent, pride and effort. "I thought there was excellent energy on both days," he said. "That's big with me, because if you don't have the energy in this context, how are you going to have it to play 162 games, spring training and the playoffs.

"I was impressed by how the players seized control and really took advantage of the opportunities."

Follow the Area Code Games on Twitter @ACBaseballGames