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Minor-league week in review: Former first rounder Cornelius Randolph earns player of the week honor


Cornelius Randolph has had a strong start to 2021. (Cheryl Pursell)

A former first-round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies earned the player of the week honor in his league for this past week, the third of the minor-league season.

Each team in the Phillies system has now completed its third six-game series of the year. The Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs are 11-7, the Double-A Reading Fightin Phils are 3-15, the High-A Jersey Shore BlueClaws are 8-10 and the Low-A Clearwater Threshers are 9-9.

Randolph Wins Player of the Week

Outfielder Cornelius Randolph was named Triple-A East Player of the Week for last week, the IronPigs announced Monday. The 10th pick in the 2015 draft went 13-for-22 with four doubles, three home runs and nine RBIs, playing a key role as his team won four of six games on the road against the Syracuse Mets. Things seem to be seriously clicking for Lehigh Valley at this point.

“The boys are having fun,” the 23-year-old Randolph said of his team’s success on Friday. “That’s the main thing. It’s just like we’re out here every day, we’re laughing we’re joking, [but] we’re serious when we need to be. If somebody does something good, everybody’s happy about it. Of course, there’s competition [within the team]. Everybody wants to play well, but, at the end of the day, we’re all here for each other. So, that’s the beauty about this team.”

Randolph is now hitting .377/.421/.698 on the season with four home runs and 13 RBIs in 15 games for the IronPigs, who sit two games behind the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for first place in the Northeast division in Triple-A East.

Reading Continues Skid

The Fightins lost five out of six games at Akron this past week, continuing what’s been an extremely poor start to this 120-game season. Their losses to the RubberDucks over the weekend were especially lopsided, with Reading falling 11-0 on Saturday and 13-1 on Sunday.

Reading has the second-worst record in Class AA, just a half game above a fellow team in the Northeast division of Double-A Northeast, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Yes, these new league and division names are very, very rough. Long live the Eastern League and other former minor leagues).

Having been outscored 140-70 on the season, the Fightins’ -70 run differential ranks dead last in all of Class AA through the first three weeks.

Stott Still Hot in Jersey Shore

Shortstop prospect Bryson Stott remains the hottest hitter in the BlueClaws lineup. His 1.010 OPS is the only on the team above .779. He also leads the team in home runs (four), hits (15) and runs scored (16).

Stott’s plate discipline has been notable as well so far this year. In 17 games, he’s drawn 20 walks, while striking out 18 times. The 23-year-old is putting together the plate appearances of an advanced hitter, which should result in Stott seeing a promotion at some point this season — probably sooner than later.

García Wins It in 10th for Clearwater

The Threshers took a dramatic extra-inning victory over the Dunedin Blue Jays on Sunday, as infielder Luis García smashed a two-run, walk-off home run to right field win to the game 8-6 in the 10th.

It was the second home run of the season for the switch hitter, his first while batting left-handed. García is hitting just .200/.310/.329 with five extra-base hits on the year, but perhaps this big moment starts to get the 20-year-old going at the plate.

Damon Jones was part of an impressive start on Friday. (Cheryl Pursell)

Farm Notes

  • Left-hander Bailey Falter made two strong starts for Lehigh Valley this past week to follow a scoreless five innings against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre the week prior. He pitched a total of 9 2/3 innings of one-run baseball with 14 strikeouts and two walks in his last two outings.
  • Right-hander Adonis Medina and left-hander Damon Jones combined for seven perfect innings for the IronPigs on Friday. Medina pitched the first five and Jones tossed two innings, before righty Bryan Mitchell allowed a hit in the eight. Lehigh Valley won 8-4.
  • Arquímedes Gamboa remains a bright spot for the Fightins. He homered Sunday for the third time this season, and has gotten on base every game this year except for one.
  • Outfielder Matt Joyce made the most of his three rehab games in Clearwater before being called back up to Philadelphia on Friday. He went 4-for-8 with a double and two walks against Single-A competition.

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