"I've been seeing the ball pretty well," Hawkins said. "(And) the team has been hitting the ball really well lately, which is good. I get an opportunity to hit with guys in scoring position. We've just been grinding out at bats, and I've been seeing it well, hitting it well."
And with runners in front of him getting on base, it helps open up holes for Hawkins to hit through, Lansing Manager John Tamargo said.
"Guys get on base, holes open up. It's easier to hit with guys holding people on first base," Tamargo said. "He's done a tremendous job in that situation."
That said, Tamargo didn't intend on taking away any credit Hawkins is due. "He's been outstanding," Tamargo said. "He's been steady all year — hits in the middle of the lineup, gets on base a lot, steals some bases, just done an outstanding job this year."
A proverbial curveball could have potentially been thrown at Hawkins when he was recently switched from left to rightfield. Instead, he took it in stride and continued swinging a sweet bat.
"It wasn't too tough," he said. "I haven't played a ton of right field, but I've played it before. So it's been good to get out there, get some experience there. It definitely helps the team out as well, just because I don't have to play just one spot."
Prior to this season, Hawkins worked to get his whole body into his swing to better his extra base hit numbers. It's worked; he already has nine doubles, three triples and a homerun, compared to 15, six and five last season in Bluefield.
"It definitely has helped," Hawkins said. "I just tried to get my lower half in more often and also keep the bat through the zone. The drills I did then — I still do now — have gone a long way."
Hitting Coach Kenny Graham said he noticed Hawkins is swinging more consistently than in the past.
"This year he lays out his best swing more consistently from pitch to pitch, at-bat to at-bat, and that's why he's had so much success of just squaring a ball up and getting his hits just because he's laying out his best swing," Graham said.
"You'd see him last year where he's just chasing out pitches or get fooled on pitches, he'd put the ball in play just to put the ball in play, but now he's putting out his best swing every swing now and its shown just with numbers and the success he's had this year."
Almost through the first half of the season, Hawkins has done a lot to help the Lugnuts, but he'll try to do even more the rest of the season.
"I just want to keep working on the things I've been doing," he said. "Keeping the bat through the zone, firing the backside early, trying to drive the ball. I don't have any personal goals, just trying to do my best every game."
And Graham thinks those great games will continue to come.
"I expect Chris to constantly just improve because that's who Chris Hawkins
is," he said. "He's a very deliberate and driven worker who's very focused in the cage and in all his work and everything he does."
LANSING, MI - To jump out to a 38-17 season, the Lansing Lugnuts have had a lineup full of sluggers and a rotation full of hurlers. Leading the way for the sluggers has been outfielder Chris Hawkins. The 20-year-old is hitting .321 in 49 games, driving in 21 runs. Hitting in the middle of the lineup, he's had plenty of chances to drive in runners, making his plate appearances more exciting.
Doing his job in the middle of the lineup, Hawkins has driven in 21 this season.
Hawkins was a third round pick in 2010.