Yesterday we took a look at the top 100 draft prospects list from Baseball America and compared it to the list put out by Keith Law earlier in the week. On Friday morning, BA came out with their first mock draft, exactly one month before the draft begins. For the Pittsburgh Pirates’ first pick at #19, BA has them taking high school shortstop Cornelius Randolph.
We touched on Randolph yesterday, who they actually have rated #19 as well. The rankings and the mock drafts rarely match up, and in this instance it is just a coincidence as they see Randolph as a good fit for the Pirates and someone they may actually take with their first pick. As John Manuel pointed out in the article, “they aren’t afraid to take high school talent” and Randolph is talented. One other thing that fits the Pirates and their draft approach, he turns 18 just days before the draft, so he is young for the class.
Most don’t believe that Randolph will stick at shortstop, rather that he will move over to third base, where his arm and good hands would play well. He doesn’t have the quickness to play shortstop at higher levels, although that might not stop a team like the Pirates from putting him there to begin his career and moving him down the line if he can’t develop into a solid shortstop.
Even if he moves to third base, Randolph has the bat to make an impact at a corner position. Quoting his profile from MLB Pipeline, which is also backed up by other scouting reports, Randolph has “the tools and approach from the left side to hit for power and average”. He has quick hands and uses the entire field. Randolph has average speed.
As mentioned, BA has Randolph ranked 19th, while Keith Law has him #37 and MLB Pipeline, headed by Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, has him 25th overall. I have included a video of Randolph courtesy of Big League Futures.