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.