What They’re Saying About Cornelius Randolph
— Phillies (@Phillies) June 9, 2015
The surely-they’re-rebuilding-now Phillies picked 10th in the MLB draft Monday night and came away with Cornelius Randolph, said to be the best high school hitter in the country. Here’s what else they’re saying about him.
Randolph is a left-handed hitting shortstop from Griffin, Ga., but scouting director Johnny Almaraz said he will move to left field. Almaraz is optimistic that the Phillies will sign Randolph in the near future.
“We love his bat,” Almaraz said of Randolph, who is listed at 6 foot 1 and 190 pounds. “He’s somebody who we feel is one of the top three hitters in the country as far as this year’s Draft is concerned. Very rarely do you ever get a consensus from an entire room. There’s no doubt we feel he’s got a chance to be a hitter in the Major Leagues that hits for both average and power.”
So the kid can hit. That’s great!. Can he run? Eh, decently. He’s right about a 50 on the 20-80 scale and with more growth to come I would expect he’ll end up fringe average at best by the time he could make the Majors. That said he’d have enough speed and range for any position except Shortstop and Center field (Ironically the 2 positions he’s played in High School). Before I get into that though, let’s talk arm. Perfect Game has him scored as hitting 92 on infield throws last year in their showcase. That’s also enough arm for anywhere on the field.
This first-round selection was a departure from the method the Phillies used last season under former scouting boss Marti Wolever. After years of opting for toolsy prep players, the Phillies added just one high school player through the draft in 2014.
Almaraz says he doesn’t lean one way or the other, that he values talent over age.
“I don’t know,” Almaraz said when asked why the player he termed the best high school bat in the country fell to the Phillies at 10.
“I honestly think that some teams are just college-oriented teams. With me, it doesn’t matter whether it’s college or high school. I look at the talent, the ability to hit the baseball or the ability to pitch. Age has nothing to do with that.”
MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds didn’t waste any time giving incredibly high praise to the Phillies’ top pick in the 2015 draft.
Moments after the Phillies took hard-hitting prep shortstop Cornelius Randolph 10th overall on Monday night, Reynolds said on air that the Griffin (Ga.) High School product reminds him of late, great Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn, an eight-time National League batting champ.
“He’s got that inside out (swing), shoot that ball the other way,” Reynolds said.
The Phils also took Scott Kingery, a second baseman, with the 48th overall pick in the second round.