GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Tim Hawkins sensed his little brother Courtney wasn't being treated properly, from the time he hit home runs while playing T-ball to his athletic dominance as a 270-pound 13-year-old.
"I wouldn't say he was getting picked on, but he was getting treated differently," the elder Hawkins recalled. "I needed to do something. I didn't want him to go through that."
Thanks to some forceful mentoring from his older brother, Courtney Hawkins has gradually chiseled his frame to become a 6-foot-3, 234-pound outfielder who quickly has become the centerpiece of the White Sox's minor league renaissance.
Hawkins, 19, was ranked as the organization's top prospect by Baseball America and the 55th-best prospect in baseball.
Although Hawkins was once cool to the idea of participating in seven-on-seven football drills and workouts in other sports with his older brother -- who completed a football career at Texas State and will graduate this spring -- his work ethic and talent have vaulted him to the top of the Sox's farm system.
"I hear people talk about having to go to work," Hawkins said Wednesday, one hour before a late-morning minor league minicamp practice. "They dread going to work. I don't dread going to work. When I wake up in the morning, I'm happy, ready to go.
"I decide to go to work, and I try to hurry to get there. I get to hit, throw, have fun, do things I've been doing my whole life. I don't fear it. I'm good to go."
The only concern is that Hawkins -- who was finishing his senior season at Carroll High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, last spring -- is eager to move too fast. He hasn't played above Class A, although he did impress with a .284 batting average and eight home runs in 229 at-bats after signing for a $2.475 million bonus.
"He wants to win and wants it all so bad," 2009 first-round pick and fellow outfield prospect Jared Mitchell said. "I have to tell him that things happen, and you really can't force it. Everything is going to come in due time. Keep working at a pace, and things will work out."
Those words were relayed to Hawkins in January when he and Mitchell worked out at the Saddlebrook Resort in the Tampa, Fla., area, where Creative Artists Agency annually sends several of its top baseball clients to prepare for the upcoming season.
"I'm always in the mode where I think, 'I've got to do this,' " Hawkins said. "I was eager, I was jumpy. Every day the only thing Jared Mitchell would tell me is, 'You've got to relax, you've got to take it day by day. Don't rush stuff.' "
Hawkins' power, speed and arm -- his fastball was clocked in the low 90 mph range in high school -- along with his eagerness make for an impressive blend.
He gained national notice with the back flip he displayed on television shortly after the Sox drafted him with the 13th pick in 2012. That selection fulfilled a dream dating to his sophomore year, when he returned from Taiwan after a tournament with Team USA.
That was around the same time Hawkins' parents, Tim Sr. and Larissa, along with Tim Jr. persuaded him to concentrate solely on baseball. Tim Jr. said he already had given up going to summer football camps so Courtney could travel with the Houston-area-based Banditos Baseball Club he had played for since the sixth grade.
"He could have been just as good in football," Tim Jr. said of his brother, who drew interest from Rice as a safety before his junior season.
At the draft last June, Hawkins was accompanied by Banditos coach Ray DeLeon, who Hawkins said played a significant role in his development and preparing him for professional baseball.
The Hawkins brothers "fight like any other brothers do," Courtney said. "But at the end of the day, he'll have my back, regardless."
Courtney said he still calls his brother for advice. Only now, the weight problems he overcame as a teenager have shifted to a waiting game.
"I'm still (in the mood) to move as fast as I can, in the back of my mind," Hawkins said. "At the same time, I still know I'm on the field and just got to take it day by day."
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