When Scott Boras was asked who he would compare his young client Cornelius Randolph with, the uber agent played coy for about five seconds.
“I really would not like to say,” Boras said.
But the most successful agent in the game switched gears after
Randolph, the 10th overall pick in the MLB draft last week, was introduced to the media by the Phillies Wednesday after reportedly signing the Georgia high school shortstop to a $3,231,300 deal.
“I don’t want to name names,” Boras said. “But his swing looks Gwynn-ish to me.”
Boras is of course referring to the late Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who is one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game. Gwynn, a lifetime .338 hitter, who never hit less than .300 during a full season, was the finest hitter of his generation. If Randolph has any of Gwynn’s extraordinary ability, that would be a huge upgrade over what Phillies fans are currently witnessing. Ryne Sandberg’s squad features hitters, who possess swings, which appear Gwynn Jr.-ish, a nod to former Phillie Tony Gwynn Jr, who is a lifetime .238 hitter.
“Cornelius is a special hitter,” Phillies director of amateur scouting Johnny Almaraz said. “We’re excited to have him here.”
The left-handed hitter beamed as his family watched their 18-year old son meet the press.
“This is amazing,” Randolph gushed. “It’s unbelievable.” Randolph was thrilled to meet Ryan Howard and Chase Utley before the Phillies lost their ninth straight game. “I watched those guys when I was a kid.”
Well, Randolph is leaving his childhood behind. He will report to Clearwater for rookie camp Thursday (June 18). Almaraz indicated that the Phillies will probably assign Randolph to the Gulf Coast League Phillies.
“He has such an impressive swing,” Almaraz said. “It’s a pro ready swing.”
How soon could Randolph, who will most likely move from shortstop to outfield, climb the ladder?
“We’re not going to rush him,” Almaraz said. “But he has all of the tools to make a fairly rapid ascent.”
Almaraz noted that Randolph has some pop but he’s not in the same ballpark as the Phillies eighth round pick Greg Pickett. The Phillies surprised many by drafting Pickett, who appeared hell bent on attending Mississippi State University. Six months ago Pickett, who also bats left, was viewed as a possible first round pick but word spread that he wasn’t going to sign. The Phillies took a chance on Pickett and he inked a deal, which thrills Almaraz.
“He has the most power of any high school player in the draft,” Almaraz said. “Pickett’s power is extraordinary. He can hit one ball after another into the second deck here (at Citizens Bank Park). I’m excited about him, Cornelius and so many others in this draft. How it turns out? I don’t know. I’m optimistic but you’ll have to talk with me in five years and we’ll see how this draft works out.”