Friday, September 6, 2019

Randolph taking strides toward the big leagues

C. Randolph, image- Jay Floyd
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Cornelius Randolph doesn't need prospect rankings, fans' attention or media buzz to do his job.

The 22-year-old entered the season as part of a Reading Fightin' Phils' outfield that was made up of three different Phillies top draft picks.  Plenty of excitement, focus and photo opportunities came along with the start of the players' Double-A season.

None of those things mattered to Randolph, who goes simply by the nickname "C".

"Me, Haseley and Mickey, we just wanted to come out here and play, enjoy the game and have fun," said Randolph outside the visitors locker room in Trenton.

Randolph was selected 10th overall in the 2015 draft while Mickey Moniak was the number one overall pick in 2016 and Adam Haseley was taken with the 8th pick in the 2017 draft.

Early in the 2019 campaign, Randolph would miss roughly two weeks with a hamstring strain.  He later spent another stint on the injured list with a wrist/hand ailment that was officially described as tendinitis.

In 102 total games with Reading this season, the 22-year-old lefty batter tallied a .247 average with 15 doubles, four triples, 10 home runs, 44 RBI and nine stolen bases. 

Offensive production has picked up considerably in the second half for Randolph thanks to some adjustments to his stance and swing.

A collaborative effort of hitting coach Tyler Henson, as well as hitting coordinators Jason Ochart and Russ Steinhorn along with the player, himself.

"You can see where he has his bat now, where he starts, which I think has really helped him," explained Reading manager Shawn Williams.  "It gets him going a little bit earlier.  He's been really consistent since he started doing that."

With a .675 OPS in the first half, Randolph notched an .844 OPS following the Eastern League's All-Star break.

Randolph points out that he is confident that his game has improved in all aspects in his two seasons at Reading.  Coaches agree.  He doubled his homer total from last season while seeing his OPS increase by 77 points.  He's also proven to contribute on defense and can flash a little speed on the bases.

After two seasons at the Double-A level, it would seem Randolph should be targeted for a 2020 campaign at Triple-A.

"I feel ready for any challenges put in my way, but it's not up to me," Randolph said.

The level at which he plays is also not a factor for the five-foot-11 205-pounder.  Where ever it is Randolph takes the field, he's simply focused on doing what he can do to prepare himself to help the big league Phillies win some day.

"There's only two levels, the minor leagues and the big leagues," Randolph asserted.  "So, where ever you are in the minor leagues, you go there to play and to figure out what works for you, so when you do get to the big leagues, you're ready to go." 

The Fightins are in the midst of the best-of-five EL Division Series which they trail two games to none.  Game three is slated to be played Friday night at 7PM at Trenton's ARM & HAMMER Park.


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