Phuture Phillies 2018 Reader Top 30 Poll for the Phillies #14 Prospect

Cornelius Randolph was your selection as the #13 prospect in the Phillies’ organization.

Randolph received 102 of 270 votes (38%). Tom Eshelman finished second (77, 29%), Dylan Cozens finished third (22, 8%), and Ranger Suarez finished fourth (16, 6%). Nineteen players split the remaining 53 votes. 

Cornelius Randolph was the Phillies 1st round pick (10th overall) in the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft from Griffin High School, in Griffin GA.  (The last draft under the Amaro regime.)

Randolph played shortstop in high school but began his professional career learning to play the outfield.  While playing left field in the GCL, Randolph posted a very respectable .302/.425/.442/.866  in 2015.

I saw a lot of Randolph during his first professional season.  He was all business once he entered the on deck circle.  He had very good plate discipline.  His approach reminded me of J.P. Crawford and Kelly Dugan.  He wasn’t afraid to bat from behind in the count while waiting for his pitch.  He accepted walks (15.1%) and didn’t strike out too much (15.1%). He took pitches to left and left-center rather than try to pull them to right.  Ironically, his only home run in 2015 was crushed to right field.

Randolph struggled at the start of the 2016 season in Lakewood.  When he finally seemed to have found a groove, he went down with an injury.  He finished with a slash of .274/.355/.357/.712.  However his BB  and K rates dropped to 9.4% and 20.6%.

Randolph played for the Threshers in 2017.  His sweet swing was gone at the behest of the Phillies.  He was trying to pull most of his at bats.  He did hit a career high 13 home runs (he hit 3 HR total his previous two seasons).  He walked a career high 55 times (10.8%).  But struck out 125 times (24.5%) and had a career low .250 batting average..

I’m not too worried about his drop in average.  It’s just part of his development.  I find it interesting that a low-power guy with good plate discipline and on base skills was asked to swing for the fence.  Just as power hitting Dylan Cozens was asked to focus on putting the ball in play when he passed through Clearwater (I think he only hit 5 HR while here).  But that’s all part of it.  #partpart

Anyway, Randolph is sure to start in Reading this season.

Next up is your selection for the #14 prospect in the organization with Bailey Falter, Luke Leftwich, Deivi Grullon, Jiandido Tromp added to the poll.


2018 Readers’ Poll, so far –

  1. Sixto Sanchez
  2. Scott Kingery
  3. J.P. Crawford
  4. Jhailyn Ortiz
  5. Jorge Alfaro
  6. Adam Haseley
  7. Adonis Medina
  8. Franklyn Kilome
  9. Mickey Moniak
  10. JoJo Romero
  11. Roman Quinn
  12. Enyel De Los Santos
  13. Cornelius Randolph


66 thoughts on “Phuture Phillies 2018 Reader Top 30 Poll for the Phillies #14 Prospect

    1. Certainly not dumb or stupid; maybe the word should be aggressive. As a 19 yo, his average and OBP tumbled in his 1st year of full season ball. The Phils could have moved him backward to Wmsprt, when that short season started but they didn’t. They also want to be aggressive with him. He started in April like a house-a-fire. He was the talk of this site with his .327/.377/.449/.826 in 24 games. May was a bummer for him, hitting .162/.231/.232. June, July and August were only slightly better but they were better progressively. In August, he hit .250/.277/.341. That was not exactly lighting it up. ‘A’ pitchers made adjustments but Brito couldn’t quite find the adjustments to offset. He’s 16th on my list and I had him as high as 14. So voting for him right here or even a bit higher is fine. I think he’ll start in LKW and should or at least could see CLW by the end of the season.

    2. Brito vs Gamboa is an interesting discussion. The biggest mark on Brito’s favor is the rave reviews he got from scouts early on. Gamboa is a few months older but plays a more valuable defensive position and hit better at the same level. Gamboa is my pick right now between them.

    3. He had a poor game when I saw him in May. He got caught leaning at first, miffed a play at second, hit weakly. The same game I became a Fanti believer- batters were missing his pitches badly. I have Fanti right after Ranger.

  1. Arquimedes Gamboa. He should start his age-20 season in Clearwater. He’s got the tools to stick at SS and play well there defensively. Offensively, he’s a switch-hitter who can run. His splits have improved immensely over his first three seasons, even as he’s moved up a level each time:

    2015: 7.3/24.3 BB/K, .510 OPS
    2016: 6.1/19.0 BB/K .546 OPS
    2017: 9.4/14.9 BB/K .705 OPS

    He’s a risk, but the upward trend coupled by positive scouting reports and pedigree ($900K bonus in ’14) has me bullish.

    1. I have Gamboa as my #15, just before Brito. When matching him up to someone, I picked Galvis. In Freddy’s 19 yo season, he also played in LKW. Freddy had a .238/.300/.288 triple slash with a .588 OPS. Gamboa was .261/.328/.378/.705. We know Galvis is an elite fielder and Gamboa is probably a very good fielder. The Phils were very aggressive with Galvis. in his 19 yo season, he finished in Reading. I don’t think Gamboa will move quite that fast but his bat is much better than Galvis’ as this age. If his bat continues to progress and his fielding stays at least the same, he’ll be a better prospect than Galvis. I’m saying he will be but at this point in development he’s at least even with Galvis and maybe a little beyond. I know there will be discussion about how important Galvis’ fielding was to his prospect status but Freddy had trouble hitting the ball out of the infield at age 19. Gamboa’s beyond that right now.

      1. He kind of reminds me of Cesar. Good defender at an up-the-middle position, not a lot of pop but getting better at the plate with every pitch he sees. Not saying he’s going to wind up a 3-4 fWAR player like CeHe has been the past two years, but the potential is definitely there.

        1. I think he is bigger and both has more power than Cesar had at the same age (maybe quite a bit more) and has more power potential in the long run. He also showed decent plate discipline. Yup, Gamboa has a huge up arrow next to his name. Our shortstop position is probably taken for the next 10-12 years, but you never know.

    2. I wrote a post the other day about guys who could take huge steps forward this year and Gamboa and Brito certainly fit that bill as well. As I look at my list, I didn’t include Gamboa in the top 20, but perhaps I should have. His athleticism is said to be off the charts and he has a strong body that appears well suited to driving the ball. He did awfully well last year as a 19 year-old at Lakewood and showed significant improvement after jumping a level – that’s not easy to do when you’re going from half-season ball to full-season Low A. That he somehow got lost in the mix of our prospect rankings speaks to the really solid depth in this system. Gamboa could end up being one heck of a player, as could Brito.

  2. I went for Eshelman here. I like velocity as much as the next guy, but this guy certainly belongs in the top 15 prospects. When you evaluate players, you usually look at certain things as being essential (such as decent velocity for a righty starter), but I think your model has to allow for outliers and, when it comes to pitch command, Eshelman certainly is that. He’s a guy who probably has 75-80 command (at least of his FB) and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

    He may only have borderline MOR potential, but he’s an excellent bet to be a 2-3+ WAR MLB pitcher for years and years if he stays healthy. That’s certainly worth something, even if, after he establishes himself (which I feel he will do this year or next year), he is traded by the team.

    1. He is the closest pitcher I can see in the system that can compare to the Cubs Kyle Hendricks based on command /control, velocity and also physical profile.
      Hendricks…age23 season at AA/AAA level:
      Inn-166…WHIP 1.06…H/9-7.7…HR/9-.3… BB/9-1.6… K/9-6.9….. K/BB Ratio- 3.8
      Eshelman…age23 season at AA/AAA level:
      Inn-150…WHIP .09….H/9-7.7…HR/9-.8…BB/9-1.1….K/9-6.1….K/BB Ratio-5.7

      1. Yes, Hendricks is the right comp. Although Eshelman probably throws a little harder, from what I can see Hendricks has more deception to his pitches. Hendricks pitches as a 2/3 – I’m not expecting that for Eshelman but if Eshelman becomes a legitimate 3, that alone justifies the Giles trade.

        1. To be fair to Hendricks he was a solid 2, verging on a 1, during the 2016 season. He’s a heck of a pitcher.

        1. Eshelman’s control is rated 70 (plus-plus) by Jon Mayo and Jim Callis….best in all the minor leagues…..only two other pitchers come close….Ray’s Honeywell and Pirates’ Keller at both 60 grade for control
          Of course every other pitch or facet is rated average to below average
          FB: 50 CU: 50 SLD: 45 CB: 45

    2. The 2-3 times I saw Eshelman pitch on tv he didn’t impress. I didn’t see the quality of secondary stuff he’ll need to overcome his lack of velocity. I don’t think he’s an excellent bet to be a 2-3 WAR starter; if he was he’d be a top 5 prospect in the system. I think he’s a solid bet to be a #5. Getting to be a MOR starter would take an awful lot of development, imo.

      1. At this point based solely on his metrics, his ceiling and floor as a starter are a matter of two Kyles:
        Ceiling: Kyle Hendricks
        Floor: Kyle Kendricks
        I do not see him ever being an end-of-game efficient reliever unless he can kick up his velo 4/5 mph. Perhaps a long reliever…if they still exist.

      2. I’ve seen him pitch twice I person. Extremely impressive. He’s poised composed and demonstrates command. It’s the third time through the order he needs to work on. He is certainly a big league pitcher. How he matures at the mlb level will dictate his success – TOR, #3, 4/5, or swingman. He’s a good asset. And this is about the right spot in our poll for him.

      3. We can agree to disagree on this one.

        A 2 WAR pitcher is a decent 4 (basically, Kyle Kendrick during one of his better years) – and I think there’s a good chance that he at least becomes that. In order to really take a big step forward he’s going to have to develop some type of out pitch.

        1. Eshelman is overly dependent on a plus defense behind him.
          If he can keep his GB% in the mid-to high 40s range, with that quality defense behind him, and also be able to keep his BABIP under .275, he could be a quality mid-rotation guy. He does not have much wiggle room with his low swing and miss rate and just average secondary breaking pitches..

          1. You’re right. His margin of error will always be small, but there is a very small sub-set of pitchers whose command is so good that they can still make it work without good velocity. He might be one of those pitchers.

  3. Ranger Suarez is here for me also. His velocity has increased to the mid-nineties and his control and command have not suffered. He is another jewel in Phillies’ LA signings crown.

    1. Agreed – there are a lot of LA jewels and the team almost never overspends for any player. The degree to which Sal Agosintelli and his people contribute to this team cannot possibly be overstated. This is not meant to be a slight to anyone who scouts and drafts for the Phillies in the US, but Sal and his folks appear to be the superior unit. What he does year after year after year (historically with one hand tied behind his back, although I think that’s not longer true), is beyond impressive and they are lucky he has not left to take a promotion with another team.

    2. I went with Cozens, but Suarez is my next pitcher pick. Hard to compare them to each other to rank one over the other. Brito is another one I considered with this pick

    3. I watched him pitch and was really surprised by his velocity and then he breaks off unhittable change ups. This guy is very good, similar to JoJo. Here come the lefties!

  4. Esh for me. Starting to look a little deeper. I like most of the pitchers coming up now with Cozens being somewhere in the mix even though I’m souring on him too.

  5. I’m wondering if Randolph had such a sweet swing when he came into the fold did the new regime with their launch angle emphasis start to mess with that?

  6. I went with Drew Anderson. Sort of based on how high the Phillies are on him. Could be a setup man/closer.

  7. Went with Eshelman at this spot even though I usually go with ceiling over floor when choosing between players. In this case, Eshelman’s floor is so high that I’ll be surprised if he’s not a back of the rotation starter in the majors..

  8. Jim – Would you mind adding Morales for the next round? I actually have him in this spot, but ended up voting for Eshelman. Thank you!

    1. I second the call for adding Morales. I have him coming up on my list. Had he been a first round pick, doing what he did in the GCL, we’d all be happy.

      1. third. I can’t believe that when we did the supplemental prospects to add list that he didn’t make the list. I will definetely want to vote for him in the next spot or two.

      1. I’ll third the request for the intriguing Brayan Gonzalez to be added. He seems to have an advanced approach for his age, and is coming up soon on my list.

  9. I voted for Dominguez here. I like his upside. I haven’t been able to get over his start to the season where he was consistently going out and giving great starts, striking out more than a batter an inning. At the time, he was a 22 y.o. in A+. He ended the season with 10.9 SO/9, but I don’t think that even captures how well he pitched to start the year.

    There are certainly knocks on him – size, durability, and lack of a third impact pitch – but compared to Ranger and Eshelman, I like his ceiling, even if he starts his career in the bullpen.

    1. I like him a lot too, but his moving to the BP takes him down about 10 spots or so. I’ll probably have in him in the mid-20s somewhere. He’s impressive.

      1. Agree – Matt Winkleman reported he was touching 99 as a starter the middle of last year with a plus slider. He might sit at 97 MPH as a reliever. It’s possible he’s another Kenny GIles.

  10. As fans we are going to rue the fact that the Phillies passed on Senzel. Fangraphs just named him the Reds #1 prospect:

    Senzel had a spectacular season, slashing .321/.391/.514 between High-A and Double-A in his first full pro season. He’s one of the toughest outs in the minors, combining a patient, discerning, offensive approach with a simple swing, superlative hand-eye coordination, and bat control. Senzel doesn’t have monster raw power, nor does he seek to take max-effort swings by utilizing a big stride or leg kick. Instead, his power comes from precise, high-quality contact. He’s going to be a doubles machine with home runs coming opportunistically rather than as a core aspect of his approach, but he’ll still hit for power.

    Senzel wasn’t a good defender as an underclassman at Tennessee. He entered his junior year as an athletic, but somewhat positionless, bat-first prospect who some scouts wanted to see move to second base in pro ball. He’s made significant defensive progress and some pro scouts think he could be a plus defender at peak at third base. Senzel has taken offseason reps at both outfield corners and at second base. He hasn’t been evaluated at any of those spots yet, but if he’s viable at any or all of them, it could accelerate his timetable to the majors, with Eugenio Suarez currently ensconced at third base. Senzel is a potential star, an elite hitter with above-average defense and, perhaps by accident, increasingly coveted defensive versatility.

    1. Yeah, it pisses me off – quite a bit actually.

      But what I don’t know and what we will probably never know is whether the Phillies passed on him because they thought Moniak was the better prospect or whether, instead, they passed on him because either: (a) they had a young guy at third base; or (b) they were trying to save money with Moniak in an effort to sign a guy like Gowdy.

      If it’s the first scenario, while I’m not that happy about their analysis, this sort of thing happens, it’s a talent evaluation failure and that is a very subjective thing. One guy isn’t as good as expected and another guy turns out to be better than expected (and, yes, we can’t be sure of this now – Moniak is still so young – but this is where this is likely headed unless MM turns it around in a big way soon).

      If it’s one of the latter two scenarios, then I’m REALLY not happy about it, because those are not failures of talent evaluation, those would be attributable to a poor approach to drafting, which is not excusable. BPA. BPA. BPA. Especially when you’re picking that high.

        1. LOL – I’m not fuming, but I’m more than annoyed. And, no, you commanding me to move on will not move the needle with me.

            1. Of course, this exchange assumes Mickey Mo is ALREADY a bust. He’s not, yet. By July, we all can either “move on” OR rejoice at his resurgence.

            2. I don’t assume Moniak is a bust. In fact, it will take several more years before we have any idea one way or another…

  11. I am weird and went with Kyle Young. He is atall, LHP, with IMO some projection left. In a league with older players, he showed impressive SO numbers.

    1. Young is going to be among my next few selections. I’m probably Eshelman/Suarez/Young right now.

  12. I am curious to see if Seranthony Dominguez will now fall even lower from 36 in 2017, since the Phillies took him out of the starting mix, and look to be priming him now as a reliever and I assume future closer. He said the other day in an interview, that he can sit in the high 90s as a relieve and he also has an above average slider in his repertoire

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