“Is that a young Pedro on the mound” or “that guy at the plate reminds me of a young Tony Gwynn”. That’s part of the fun going to Gulf Coast League games. Those of us who go to GCL games keep asking ourselves ” who do you think they will be?”. That’s the question we asked ourselves yesterday as the GCL Phillies pulled out a 5-4 extra inning win over in extra innings over the GCL Blue Jays.
Starting on the mound for the GCL Phillies was 20-year old Felix Paulino. He was dominating against the visiting GCL Blue Jays striking out nine of them in five innings of work. His out pitch looked to be a last breaking slider that they could not touch to go with a change up and a low 90’s fastball.
Paulino reminded me yesterday of a young Pedro Martinez who pitched at a similar weight but two inches shorter in height than Felix. Both of them are from the Dominican Republic. At age 20, Pedro made his major league debut with the Dodgers back in 1992 while pitching in his second season at AAA. Young Felix pitched last season in the Dominican Summer League.
At the plate for the GCL Phillies yesterday was 18-year old left fielder Cornelius Randolph. He went two for four with with a sacrifice fly rbi and was hit by a pitch. He hit the ball to the opposite field getting a double just inside the third base bag, singled to left center and hit his sacrifice fly to left as well.
Randolph likes to hit with “ducks on the pond’!. In 11 GCL games so far this season he gone 8 for 15 with four doubles and a homer, three walks and a sac. fly for 12 RBIs and a .589 batting average with runners in scoring position
Watch Randolph’s sacrifice fly in yesterday’s game here.
We can’t deny that 18- year old Phillies first round draft pick reminds us of a young Tony Gwynn. Randolph is the same 5’11” height as Gwynn, listed at 205 lbs. and bats left handed but throws right.
Another difference is that first round draft pick Randolph just played high school ball in Georgia while Gwynn was a college guy drafted in the third round out of San Diego State.
This is why we go to the GCL games to see the stars of tomorrow play today. Will Felix Paulino and Cornelius Randolph become the next Pedro or Tony? Well, only time will tell. But yesterday on Richie Ashburn Field at the Carpenter Complex we tried to project the future and they showed for that brief moment in time they played like they just might.