Cornelius Randolph | SS
Randolph, 18, attends Griffin High School not too far outside Atlanta. He is the school’s best baseball prospect since Tim Beckham, the first overall selection of the 2008 draft. Griffin dealt with a minor bout of biceps tendinitis this spring and is committed to Clemson.
Simply put, the 6-foot-1, 190 lb. Randolph is a pure hitter with great bat speed, power potential, and strike zone awareness from the left side of the plate. An ultra-advanced approach makes him even more dangerous. Randolph rarely chases out of the zone and consistently puts himself in good hitter’s counts. His best tool is his arm strength — his arm wasn’t at its best this spring because of the biceps issue — which works well because he’s not going to stick at shortstop long-term. Cornelius has good hands but lacks the first step quickness and range for shortstop. There’s enough defensive ability there to believe he’ll become an above-average defender at third base in time.
Cornelius ranked as the 19th, 20th, and 29th best prospect in the draft class in the latest rankings by MLB.com, Baseball America, and Keith Law (subs. req’d). Depending on who you ask, the Yankees are looking for a bat with one of their two first round picks (16th and 30th), and Cornelius has one of the best offensive skill sets in the entire draft. He’s a lefty with power and patience, which is the profile you’ll find all throughout franchise history.