“With the 10th pick of the 2015 MLB Draft, the Philadelphia Phillies select… Shortstop Cornelius Randolph, of Griffin High School in Williamson, GA”.
The Phillies selected a shortstop now in two of the last three drafts; the other shortstop goes by the name of J.P Crawford, who is the organizations top prospect. Randolph was not the first name that experts had on their mock draft boards when it came to the Phillies picking 10th overall. Most of the mock drafts had the Phillies taking Kyle Tucker, Tyler Stephenson, Ian Happ, or possibly another polished pitcher to follow-up the Aaron Nola pick from last year. When the Phillies were on the clock both Tucker and Happ were off the board. Consensus had the Phillies taking the top catcher prospect from Kenneshaw Mountain HS, Tyler Stephenson. He is a highly scouted catcher with pop in his bat that could have been the perfect replacement for the aging Carlos Ruiz. However, the Phillies surprised us all by taking Shortstop Cornelius Randolph.
The 18-year-old draft selection has plenty of credentials to his name, for instance he was named a Perfect Game First-Team All-American in 2015. In 17 games last season, Randolph hit .526 BA with 7 long balls and 18 runs batted in.
The Scouting report on Randolph shows nothing but upside potential. Coming from the insiders who scouted Randolph, there has been nothing but good things said about him. He has great bat speed and is considered one of the best offensive hitters in the draft. He is technically a shortstop but can move to pretty much any position. The word around the Phillies organization is that they will convert him to either an outfielder or more likely a second baseman. It seems like a decent plan considering Utley is 36 years old and may not have much left in the tank.
One of the better ways to win in Major League Baseball is to build through the draft. The Nationals, Astros, Twins and Cardinals all seem to be doing well for their organizations by building through the draft and being patient with their prospects. In a few years the Phillies could be serious contenders with the pitchers they have waiting in Reading along with their young core of everyday players. The rotation in a few years could be a very deadly one if everything goes according to plan, it could very well look like: Aaron Nola, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Tom Windle, and Jesse Biddle. The infield of Franco, Crawford, and Randolph, along with the plethora of outfield talent could defiantly make this team a future contender. Not to mention, any prospects that the Phillies can snag in a trade for their vets could pay huge dividends on filling major holes that this team has.
All in all the future looks bright, we as fans need to keep our heads up and grind through the tough games. The Phillies have gone through this before and ended up getting a core of great players by the names of: Burrell, Ruiz, Utley, Rollins, Howard, Hamels, Victorino, Lidge and Werth. Leading to a team winning it all in 2008 and becoming, as Chase Utley said perfectly;
“World F*ckin’ Champions”.