Monday, June 8, 2015

Phillies Select Cornelius Randolph in 2015 MLB Draft

When the Phillies turn came around to select 10th overall in tonight's 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft, a number of players tied to them were off the board. 
For instance, just this afternoon at TBOH, I speculated on the club selecting from among outfielders Kyle Tucker, Andrew Benintendi, and Ian Happ.
The three outfielders all went off the board prior to the Phillies selection in what was a mild surprise to me, as I thought at least one would still be there. 
Tucker went #5 overall as the 2nd pick of the Houston Astros, who also selected 2nd overall. Benintendi went at #7 to Boston, and finally Happ went to the Cubs at #9, just before the Phillies turn.
With those three outfielders gone, and the three top shortstops gone as expected (those went 1-2-3 for a first ever), and with the three top arms gone in Dillon Tate, Tyler Jay, and Carson Fulmer, the Phillies brain trust had some work to do to come up with a good pick at that point. I believe they did well.
With the 10th overall pick, the Phils selected shortstop Cornelius Randolph out of Griffin High School in Griffin, Georgia. 
Listed at 5'11 and 205 pounds, Randolph turned 18 years old less than a week ago. He bats lefty and fields righthanded, and is also a Clemson University signee, though it is highly doubtful now that he ever steps foot on campus.


Randolph plays shortstop, and the Phillies might let him play there at the beginning. But with J.P. Crawford as the future of the organization at that position, and with Maikel Franco the 3rd base future, I woudn't be surprised if they moved Randolph immediately to left field, allowing his bat to fully develop.
This is a bat-first selection. Randolph is going to hit his way to Citizens Bank Park, and that bat for both average and power is likely to be able to play at the left field position, where pop is a premium.
Harold Reynolds dropped a Tony Gwynn comparison on him following the selection, but the Phils are likely hoping he sacrifices a bit of Gwynn's batting average and develops more power than the Padres great.
The following is the MLB.com scouting report on Randolph:
Name: Cornelius Randolph
Position: SS
School: Griffin HS (Ga.)
Rank on Draft Top 200: 19
DOB: 06/02/1997
Bats: L Throws: R
Height: 6'1" Weight: 190 lbs.
College commitment: Clemson
Tools
Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale
30: Well below average
40: Below average
50: Average
60: Above average
70-80: Well above average
Hit: 55
Power: 55
Run: 40
Arm: 55
Field: 40
Overall: 55
Stats (through June 2)
Avg: 
.526
AB: 76
2B: 11
HR: 7
SLG: .934
Scouting report
Griffin (Ga.) High has produced a pair of big league infielders in Jeff Treadway andTim Beckham, and it may have a third on the way in Randolph. He's Griffin's best prospect since Beckham and profiles as more of an impact hitter than the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 Draft has become. Randolph has the tools and approach to hit for power and average. He offers bat speed, strength and patience from the left side of the plate. He uses the entire field and has better pitch recognition than most high schoolers. Currently a shortstop, Randolph will move to a less challenging position at the next level. The Clemson recruit has good hands but lacks the quickness to play in the middle infield. His arm hasn't been as strong this spring, when he has dealt with biceps tendinitis, but it and his bat would profile well at third base.

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