White Sox sign 13th pick Courtney Hawkins for $2.5 million

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No. 13 overall pick Courtney Hawkins and the White Sox have agreed to a deal worth the exact slot amount of $2.475 million, according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.

Hawkins was committed to play college ball at Texas, but the high school outfielder from Corpus Christi will instead begin his pro career at age 18.

Baseball America ranked Hawkins as the 15th-best player in the draft, while ESPN.com rated him 9th overall and called him “one of the most explosive hitters in this year’s draft, combining brute strength with excellent bat speed for very hard contact.”

Braves shutting down Mike Soroka for 4-5 days due to shoulder problems

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Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that Braves starter Mike Soroka will be shut down for the next 4-5 days due to renewed soreness in his right shoulder.

Soroka is not presently listed in the top five of the Braves depth chart at starter, but is nonetheless an enormously talented pitcher who, at some point this season, was likely to figure into their plans. He was supposed to figure in more largely than he did last season, but after an impressive debut he missed the entire second half with shoulder problems, making only five starts.

There will no doubt be a reevaluation of him in the next few days, but this is could bad news for the Braves’ pitching depth.