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Cornelius debuts in GCL, Nola & Crawford to represent Phils in Futures Game

milb logoGreat news for the last three top draft picks by the Phillies. On Thursday, 2015 first round draft choice Cornelius Randolph made his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League, recording a triple in his initial plate appearance.

Facing Pirates left-handed pitching prospect Nestor Oronel, the lefty batting Randolph, who was in the lineup as the team's designated hitter, mashed a three-bagger to right field, notching his first professional hit.

By the third inning, Cornelius had gone 2-for-2, as he singled in his second chance at the plate, this time against right-hander Richard Mitchell.

Randolph, who was taken with the 10th overall selection, was touted as a power hitter with remarkable bat speed coming into this year's amateur draft. The Georgia native turned 18 years old this month.

Also, the MLB All-Star Futures Game is slated to be played in Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park on July 12th and the Phillies' most highly ranked prospects will be among the top young talent in baseball taking the field for that annual exhibition. Righty pitcher Aaron Nola and shortstop J.P. Crawford have been named to the United States team.

Nola, who made his second start with the Triple-A IronPigs on Wednesday, sports a 9-3 record with a 1.91 ERA in 14 combined starts at two levels this season. The 22-year-old was selected 7th overall in last year's draft.

Crawford, who was recently promoted to Double-A Reading, has reached base via hit or walk in all 24 games he has played at that level. Overall at two levels this year, the 20-year-old lefty batter sports a .339/.440/.432 slash line in 45 total games. Crawford, the Phillies' 1st round pick from 2013, played in the Futures Game last year as well.

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