Friday, December 9, 2016

Off-season Check In: OF Prospect Cornelius Randolph

C. Randolph, image- Jay Floyd
Despite missing time with a shoulder blade/back issue during the regular season, outfielder Cornelius Randolph had a solid campaign in his first full year in the professional ranks.  In 68 games, he posted a .264 average with two home runs and 27 RBI, mostly with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws.

Randolph, known as "C" to friends, family and teammates, was selected in the 1st round of the 2015 draft by the Phillies.  The organization hopes that it won't be very long before the promising 19-year-old has reached the big leagues and is impacting MLB Betting odds

The lefty batting Georgia native took time this week to chat about his off-season routine and much more.  Read ahead for that full interview.

- I know that all the Phillies players have a mandated off-season regimen for staying in shape.  Is there anything aside from that you're doing to get better or keep the rust off?

Pretty much just working out.  Working out and maintaining my body.  Just trying to make sure I'm ready when the season comes.

- You guys had a great run in the second half of the season with Lakewood--

We did!

- Can you just offer some thoughts on that tremendous run that the BlueClaws had into the South Atlantic League postseason?

It was wonderful and it was inspiring.  It was a fun team to be a part of and pretty much we just started playing together.  Pitching and hitting, we'd put up a lot of runs pretty much every game, so I mean it's pretty hard to lose while you're doing that, but when we got to the championship series (against Rome, the Atlanta affiliate) we ran into some really good arms like Kolby Allard, Touki Toussaint, (Mike) Soroka...I mean we ran into some nice arms.  So I mean we didn't play badly, pitching still threw well, it was hard to get runs across, so...

- Okay, so you talk about those opposing arms from the Braves' team and those guys getting the best of you in the championship series.  Does that give you some extra drive, hoping that you see those guys again and get another chance against them as you climb through the minors?

Oh, 100-percent!  You always want to face good arms.  You always want to face those guys that you didn't do too well against the first time, so it would be fun to face those guys again.

- So, you live in Georgia and I imagine the weather isn't too great of an obstacle throughout the off-season, being down south.  Do you have access to fields or facilities during the winter months to do your work?

Yeah, I have access to different facilities near me.  The facility I work at mostly is Rapid Sports with Mike Berenger, so I mean that's where I'm working out pretty much every day.  And when it comes time to hit, we hit at Mike Cameron's Baseball Academy. 

- I heard you mentioned Mike Cameron, he's a former big leaguer, so we all know him.  Who is the other Mike that you mentioned?

Mike Berenger is basically my strength guy down here...

- How closely are you able to work with Mike Cameron?

He gets pretty hands-on sometimes.  That's a good guy to have to work with. 

- Obviously, in the Phils system you get to work with a lot of coaches that have loads of time in pro baseball, but what stands out to you with feedback from Cameron?

When I work with him we do a lot of first-step quickness in the outfield.  So, I'm trying to pretty much learn the outfield position.  I'm still new to it (having played infield in high school), so I have a lot of work to do there, so he helps a lot with my fielding.  Hitting wise, he pretty much stays off until he sees something that he needs to critique, or needs to kind of fix and he steps in and kind of fixes it.  I mean, he watches and just sees how me and his son (Astros prospect Dax Cameron) are progressing as baseball players.  We've been together and worked with him since we were younger, so he just watches how we progress.

- What other players are there at that academy with you this off-season?

We got Reggie Pruitt with the Blue Jays, Dax Cameron with the Astros, Charlie Blackmon works out there.  We have a couple big league guys with all the minor league guys.  So, I mean, it's good motivation.

- This off-season versus last off-season, is there a big difference for you between the two years?

More so just me knowing what to expect, knowing when to start hitting.  Last off-season I feel like I started to hit way too early.  It's just you don't want to wear yourself down before the season even starts, so that's the main thing- work hard, but work smart. 

- Is there anybody with the Phillies that you've remained closely in touch with in recent months?

Not really.  I mean, with the Phillies not so much.  I talk to the coordinators.  They check in on me to make sure I am healthy and everything is going good.  I mean I talk to them a lot, but player wise I talk to Mickey (Moniak) some, I talk to J.P. (Crawford) some.  They're still my teammates, they're still my friends, so I talk to them, check in on them, make sure everything is going great.

- When spring training gets rolling will you go down to Florida early or will you go down close to the report date?

They haven't really told me when my report date is yet, but last year I went down about a week early, so that would probably be my plan this year- go down about a week early. 
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