EMERSON, Ga. – The Perfect Game National Showcase is a spectacle in that it brings in the top talent in the country to one field at one time. It is an incredible accomplishment just to be invited to this showcase, but that is only half the battle. For the first and maybe only time, players at this event can compete directly with all of the other players in their graduating class who are highly ranked.
With all the players being on the same field for a week, it gives scouts the right atmosphere to compare players side by side. The goal for these players is to show out and move up in the rankings. For Cornelius Randolph and Tristin English of the Home Plate Chilidogs Maldonado, showing out and moving up is exactly what they did; and in a big way.
Randolph, a Clemson commit, came into the showcase with a respectable 192 ranking. He was never overlooked by the other shortstops in the class, but it was evident that he was viewed below some of the premiere players in the 2015 class. After a stellar performance at the event, including one of the better batting practice rounds, it was clear he was among some of the best players out there. In addition, he jumped all the way up to No. 17 in the rankings.
English, a Georgia Tech commit, did not disappoint with his performance either. Coming in with a ranking of 120 and listed as a primary catcher, he lit up the radar guns on the mound with an impressive fastball that reached 94 mph (miles per hour). His ranking now sits at No. 37, and he is listed as the No. 1 ranked right-handed pitcher in the state of Georgia. Looking back on the event as a whole, both players enjoyed the atmosphere that the showcase brought.
“Chaotic,” Randolph said of what the event was like. “It was something else.”
“Just playing with the best competition in the country, it’s going to make you better automatically just like that,” English added.
Randolph’s sweet swing from the left side and tremendous glove and footwork in the field make him a true all-around ballplayer. Although his 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame may not make him look like the ideal power hitter, he is capable of hitting the ball out of the ballpark to all fields.
“Cornelius is one of the best hitters I’ve seen in years,” Home Plate head coach Esteban Maldonado said. “It doesn’t matter the count. Even if he has two strikes, he is one of the best two strike hitters I’ve seen. He has pure power, but he loves to hit. He works on his craft, and it shows in the game.”
His arm in the infield is nothing to look past either. At the National Showcase, he produced the second-highest velocity across the diamond at 92 mph. Combining that with his quick 6.94 speed in the 60, there really is not much Randolph cannot do. He styles his game after major leaguer and multiple time all-star Robinson Cano. He likes the way Cano plays “because he is so smooth and sweet. Everything is just natural.” When watching Randolph play, the similarities between the two are pretty accurate.