Phuture Phillies 2019 Reader Poll #28 – Cornelius Randolph

Cornelius Randolph has been selected the #28 prospect in the Phillies’ organization.

Randolph received 35 of the 175 votes cast (20.00%).  Dominic Pipkin and Matt Vierling received 31 votes each (17.71%).   Rodolfo Duran and Ben Pelletier received 11 votes  each (6.29%).  And, Kyle Dohy and Bailey Falter (5.71%) received 10 votes each (5.71%).  Twelve guys shared the other 36 votes.  

The Phillies selected Randolph in the 1st round of the 2015 Amateur Draft out of Griffin High School (GA).  He signed on June 17th.  Randolph was a shortstop in high school but was drafted with the intention of converting him to the outfield.

He learned his new position with the GCL Phillies in 2015.  He still managed to post a slash of  .302/425/.442/.866 in 212 plate appearances.  Fair or not, his approach was likened to a young Tony Gwynn.  I heard the comps but never endorsed them.  I will say that his swing was one of the sweetest that I saw a young player bring to his professional debut.  He hit the ball where it was pitched, didn’t try to pull balls away from him, and showed moderate power from left field to right center field.  Ironically, his only home run was pulled to right field.  He stroked 19 XBH, scored 32 runs, and had 24 RBI.  He exhibited a pretty good knowledge of the strike zone walking and striking out 32 times each (15.1%).  He took to his new position fairly well, committing no errors in 63 chances with 2 assists.  His only flaw was a lack of speed as he was just 6 for 11 stealing bases.

Randolph suffered a setback early in 2016 with Lakewood when he went on the DL with an eye infection.  He missed almost 10 weeks of the season.  He started slow and finished with a .274/.355/.357/.712 slash after a .295/.368/.377/.745 slash from July 12th through the end of the season.  In 276 plate appearances, he had 15 XBH, only 2 HR.  He walked 26 times  (9.4%) and struck out 57 times (20.7%).

Randolph was bumped up to Clearwater in 2017 and brought a new swing that he had been tasked with using.  Having witnessed his smooth GCL swing, I thought he looked uncomfortable.  The placement of his front foot looked particularly awkward.  He did get the desired result, I guess.  He hit 13 HR.  His slash was .250/.338/.402/.740.  He hit 36 XBH and had 55 RBI.  In 510 plate appearances, he walked 55 times (10.8%) and struck out 125 times (24.5%).  Randolph attended the Arizona Fall League after the 2017 season.

Randolph was promoted to Reading for the 2018 season.  He finished with a slash of .241/.324/.322/.646 and just 5 HR.  But, his season was more than that slash.  He began the season with a good opening series (5-16, .313) but then went into a 3-month slump.  At the end of June, he was hitting .187/.274/.238/.513 with 1 HR and 16 RBI.  Beginning on the first day of July, Randolph went on a tear and posted a .314/.391/.434/.825 slash with 4 HR and 24 RBI.  Quite a turnaround.  Even with his early season struggles, Randolph still managed the strike zone with 48 walks (9.0%) and 92 strike outs (19.8%) in 465 plate appearances.

One thing should be remembered when looking at Randolph’s career.  He is still young.  He played in the SAL giving up 2.5 years to the average age.  He was 2.8 years younger than the average in the FSL.  And, was 3.3 years younger than his counterparts when he was with Reading in the EL.

I think a return to Reading at the start of 2019 is not unlikely.

The poll for the next prospect will be posted in a separate thread.

Here are the complete results for this poll.



23 thoughts on “Phuture Phillies 2019 Reader Poll #28 – Cornelius Randolph

  1. I admit I need to be educated about Pipkin, because he seems to be gaining popularity in the fanbase. So while I do not plan on voting for him in these top 30 polls, I kind of want him to win a spot so I can get the benefit of a write-up from Jim about him!

    1. I’ll also admit that I don’t see the appeal of ranking Pipkin this off-season. He certainly seems projectible, as a very skinny 6′-4″, but his K rate in GCL was not at all impressive this past season and he is very far from the majors.

  2. I have Vierling next (actually I had him in lower 20s), followed by Pipkin (ditto). Looks from recent polls that they should fall 29 and 30, comfortably. But you never know whose extended family of 35 might stuff the ballot.

  3. I have Rosso next. He has to the surprise from nowhere. Wait… is that redundant? Pipkin is not in my top 30. Vierling is my #28 guy but Brito, Torres, Pujols and Scheiner are all higher than he.

    1. I also had Rosso in my top 30. I rank Rodolpho Duran higher than this — young catcher, good glove, has shown good bat thus far.

  4. C is my dude. Hope he has a big year. He can really hit, need management to let him alone.

    1. From the write-up, I think you have support for the notion that the Phillies hitting instructors messed him up. He certainly wasn’t drafted because of a high-loft swing and now the Phillies seem to have gone through another square peg/round hole exercise. There were comments late season that Moniak’s late surge also resulted from going back to doing things his way. Uncoachable is actually an advantage when you have stupid coaching.

  5. I have been about as hard on the Phillies for the Randolph pick as anyone but, frankly, he should probably be ranked at least 8 to 10 slots above this. For all his shortcomings, he does have some fundamentally good contact skills and actually more power than I expected. He also seemed to make some critical adjustments and was very good the second half of last year. The problem with him is that he has so many limitations in the field and does not appear to offer the upside of a power hitter, which raises the bar enormously for his contact and on base skills. Still, I could seem him turning it around and making it to the big leagues in some capacity and become, say, a second division regular (if he has a greater upside than that, we would need to see it this year I would think). It’s not HIS fault the Phillies over-drafted him.

    1. Encouraging second halves from “busts” Moniak and Randolph last season. Really looking forward to 2019 minor league season and seeing who continues to build on the second half and takes it up a notch.

    2. I think he is appropriately placed. He looks like he can hit for contact and control the strike zone, but he does not add anything on defense or with baserunning, and struggles to hit for power.

      All that said, he has had some bad luck with injuries and has always been much younger than the competition (as Jim pointed out). I think there is still the potential for upside from C.

  6. Went Pipkin. It’s the upside pick; he hasn’t had a chance to fail yet and has some raw ability.

  7. I really think we are missing the mark on Duran. At the age of 20 he played solid defense at catcher and was a better than average hitter in the SAL league. He is not a perfect player, but at this point in the voting he has both upside AND performance going for him – I’m not sure why we wouldn’t put him ahead of guys with less upside or no performance track record.

    But don’t take my word for it – MattWinks has him at #17 and FanGraphs has him at #21. I just failed miserably to see if he is ranked by other prospect orgs, but I’m sure you will find him higher than #30 at other places too.

  8. I definitely would have C much higher even if no longer not in the top 10 but whats interesting to me is how some will ding a guy for being old for his level yet C as Jimmy so aptly points out was always pretty young for his level.

    1. And if they are aggressive with him again, and start him in Lehigh Valley, he could be 4.0-4.5 years younger than the pitchers he’ll have to face.

  9. One of the more interesting things to follow this year will be the impact of the new hitting instructors in the farm system. Maybe a change in organizational philosophy will be what someone like Randolph needs.

  10. I wrote in Nick Fanti, based on the way professional hitters flailed at his pitches when I saw him at Lakewood. Do we get 2 additional slots now that C has moved up to #26?

  11. The problem with CR is that , since he’s only a leftfielder, he has to be an elite offensive player to have an impact

  12. It seems like teams are trying to teach good contact hitters to become power hitters as well: Jose Ramirez and Yellich come to my mind.

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