MLB

White Sox sign OF Hawkins, No. 13 pick in draft

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CHICAGO (AP)

Courtney Hawkins' back-flipping days appear to be over. His professional baseball career is just beginning.

The Chicago White Sox agreed to terms on Monday with the 18-year-old outfielder, 13th overall pick in this year's draft.

''It's a lifelong dream,'' Hawkins said in a news conference at U.S. Cellular Field. ''I always wanted to play professional baseball and I got the opportunity and everything was right. I'm glad to sign.''

Hawkins drew a lot of attention at the televised draft on June 4 when he did a backflip during an interview after he was selected.

''I was surprised about how much publicity it got, and the reaction some people got,'' Hawkins said, laughing as he looked at general manager Ken Williams. ''The chants started coming through, and I just had to do it.''

Williams said there wasn't a ''no backflips'' clause in Hawkins' contract, but it's unlikely that he'll be doing them in a White Sox uniform.

''There has been a discussion. A couple of discussions,'' Williams joked. ''I followed it up with his mom and dad.''

Hawkins participated in a popular parody video of Carly Rae Jepsen's hit ''Call Me Maybe'' with several other top picks.

Hawkins, from Corpus Christi, Texas, hit .437 with 11 home runs, 39 RBIs, 17 stolen bases and 56 runs in 36 games for Carroll H.S. He was the ESPNHS Gatorade Texas Baseball Player of the Year, and was rated second by Baseball America among high school power hitters.

Hawkins put on a No. 12 jersey after signing the contract, then participated in on-field drills and batting practice with the White Sox.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound right-handed hitter will report to Bristol in the advanced Rookie League.

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