No. 7: Outfielder Cornelius Randolph
Cornelius Randolph is the second prospect from the 2015 draft class in this section of the list. The Phillies selected Randolph with the No. 10 overall pick in the draft that year, signing him to a $3.2 million signing bonus. While he was drafted as a shortstop, the team moved him to left field, where they see him in the future.
Randolph made a strong debut in the Phillies system, hitting .302 in 53 games with the GCL Phillies. He led the team in that category among players with 50 or more plate appearances. The left-handed hitter had a .866 OPS.
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Coming into this year, the Phillies challenged the 19-year old Randolph by sending him to full-season Lakewood. He struggled in April before landing on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. He spent more than two months there before returning to action July 7. Randolph looked better upon returning from injury, but he still posted an OPS below .700 and a wRC+ of 99.
Looking at Randolph’s swing in video, it is one of the prettier swings among all hitters in the system. It produces plenty of line drives from the left side of the plate.
Randolph has a contact-oriented approach to the plate. Josh Norris of Baseball America said the “Phillies worked with him…to get him turn on inside pitches instead of pushing them the opposite way.” The hope for Randolph is that he hits for above-average power, but it hasn’t shown up in games at all yet. He hit just one home run in 2015 and two this season.
A shortstop in high school, Randolph has an above-average arm, but it might be the only above-average aspect of his defense. Randolph clocks in at 5’11 205 pounds, meaning his range will be limited. There is the hope he can be an average fielder in left, but that’s the only position he’s going to play and it’ll be Randolph’s bat carrying him through the minors.
Like most players from the 2015 draft, Randolph is still a good deal away from the majors. In the time between now and when he reaches Philadelphia, Randolph will hopefully add some power to his swing, starting in High-A Clearwater next year. He could easily be a top-of-the-order hitter who mashes for average, but if everything goes well, Randolph could be a No. 3 guy who hits for both power and average.