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Phillies introduce first-round pick Randolph

Prep shortstop signed for full slot value, set to start with Clearwater on Thursday

PHILADELPHIA -- It is time for Cornelius Randolph to get to work.

The Phillies introduced Randolph, whom they selected with the 10th overall pick in last week's Draft, in a news conference Wednesday evening at Citizens Bank Park. Randolph signed a $3,231,300 signing bonus, which was full value for his Draft slot. He is set to begin his professional career Thursday in Clearwater, Fla.

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"This is amazing," Randolph said. "It's unbelievable. It's just a dream come true."

The Phillies have signed or reached agreements with 28 of the 29 players they hoped to sign immediately following the Draft. (The others are draft-and-follow selections, which must be signed by July 17.) The only holdout is UNLV senior right-hander Joseph Lauria, who was a 25th-round pick.

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Randolph's agreement came quickly.

"It's always nice in the Draft when you have an agreement," said Scott Boras, who is Randolph's agent. "I think [scouting director] Johnny [Almaraz] and his staff, they certainly placed Cornelius up in the Draft, and certainly Cornelius' performance throughout the course of the year, he got better as his senior year went on. And his bat is certainly something special. So it's always nice in baseball when a lot of veteran baseball people get together and share a common dynamic, and certainly that was the case here." 

Video: [email protected]: First-round pick Randolph joins the booth

The Phillies plan to move Randolph from shortstop, where he played in high school, to left field. Randolph said he is OK with the move.

"I'm open to anything," Randolph said. "I played the outfield before. During the summer, I've been out there. So I feel like I'll be able to adapt to anything."

Randolph hopes to be another quick riser through the system like Double-A Reading shortstop J.P. Crawford, who was a first-round pick in 2014. The two have spoken since the Phillies drafted Randolph.

Randolph also met some of the Phillies' veterans Wednesday, such as Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.

"The key words were, 'Stay hungry,'" Randolph said. "'Don't ever quit, don't ever be content with where you're at.' When I watched them when I was little, I was just watching a couple of my favorite players play. Now I'm a part of the organization. It's crazy. It's a dream come true."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
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