Hey, it's almost draft time! That means that mock drafts are starting to roll in. You're bound to see a whole slew of names of people you didn't even know existed on this Earth, but as a Royals fan you need to know some of these possible names who could be wearing a Royals uniform in a few years (or in a few months, if it's a Burlington Royals uniform).
Yes Cornelius Randolph is a real persons name, and he's a quite good baseball player (though I can't speak if he's a quite good person overall).
School: Griffin High School, Griffin Georgia
Randolph is probably a bit heavier than his listed weight above. He's got a heavier frame, but he's well built and has some room to grow upwards rather than just outwards. Visually he looks the way of a young Miguel Sano who grew a few inches and pounds as he exited his mid-teens. Randolph of course doesn't feature the prodiginous power that Sano had.
Randolph is young for the class, and has an impressive resume to boot. He's been named both a Baseball America and Perfect Game All-American.
Most importantly for his draft stock, Randolph has hit very well on the circuits leading up to the draft and the high school season. Meanwhile, Randolph has helped carry his teams into the Georgia state playoffs and into the second round (where they lost to St. Pius). Randolph has done everything out of a hitter you can ask for. He's hit for average, power, and walks while limiting the strikeouts.
Tools wise, Randolph has excellent bat speed and contact skills. There a good argument that he may have the best prep hit tool in the draft.
A pretty easy swing there, but you can't necessarily get a good feel for his bat speed.
Above is Randolph taking a big hack at a belt high fastball. Obviously he doesn't make contact but the barrel traveled extremely quick through the zone.
Above is Randolph making good contact with that same great bat speed on what looks like an opposite field single/double. Notice the pitch seems to be targeted inside of Randolph but he lines it hard the other way. Also his wide base almost puts him out front of the batters box.
Randolph has at least above average raw power which you can easily tell by his size and hard contact, while the potential average hit tool could help the raw power play to its fullest in-game.
Speed wise Randolph grades as an average runner (timed at 6.94 on his PG summer 60 yard dash), but may slow down some if he puts on additional weight and size.
So, a SS with potential average hit and plus power, excellent bat speed and an average or so speed? That sounds like a top-5 pick right? Well, all the above is true except his potential position.
Randolph isn't going to stay at short in even the minors as he's expected to possibly move to second base, but perhaps more likely third (while I've seen left field as a possibility too for him).
Defensively he lacks the speed/range for shortstop. Below you can see some infield reps from the PG showcase this past summer.
To the bag
The actions aren't necessarily smooth, and again the speed/size concerns are going to move him off the position. The arm is strong though and will certainly work well at the hot corner.
If he's a 2nd baseman then he'll land outside the top 10 for sure as MLB teams have a stigma for drafting prep second baseman, which I think can be too dogmatic as my love for Forrest Wall last year showed.
Regardless of where he ends up, it's all about the bat for him and it's got the ability to play at any position. Obviously the farther down the defensive spectrum he falls the more that his value will leaned on with his bat, but it seems like third base is the most reasonable bottom spectrum for him. Even at third though, a potential .270 20 HR would be Pablo Sandoval-ish and would hover around a 110-115 wRC+.
Of course, the last first round middle infielder to come out of Griffin High School was former #1 overall pick Tim Beckham and his 645 game in the minors.