Everything you need to know about new Phillies pitcher Andrew Painter

DAVID, PANAMA - AUGUST 19: Andrew Painter #24 of United States pitches in the 1st inning during the final match of WSBC U-15 World Cup Super Round at Estadio Kenny Serracin on August 19, 2018 in David, Panama. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
DAVID, PANAMA - AUGUST 19: Andrew Painter #24 of United States pitches in the 1st inning during the final match of WSBC U-15 World Cup Super Round at Estadio Kenny Serracin on August 19, 2018 in David, Panama. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /

Hey, the MLB Draft took place last night! If you completely missed it, that’s understandable, because the MLB does a horrible job of marketing it and holds it at the same time as the NBA Finals! Regardless, the Phillies had the 13th overall pick in this year’s draft, and they walked away from the first-round with their second high school pitcher in as many years.

Andrew Painter – a 6-7 hard-throwing righty who hails from the Calvary Christian Academy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida – appears to be one of the more polarizing players from this year’s draft class. Some scouting websites had him pinned as a late first-round type of talent, whereas others viewed him as a top-tier prospect.

FanGraphs, for example, released a mock draft earlier Sunday morning and had Painter mocked to the Cincinnati Reds with the 35th overall pick. They did however mention that Painter had the potential to be drafted higher in their brief blurb on him:

"35. Cincinnati RedsPick: Andrew Painter, RHP, Calvary Christian HS (FL)Painter also offers a wide-range of possibilities, as he could go as high as the late teens, but we’ve yet to hear of him being any team’s primary target that high."

On the flip side of the discussion, Baseball America (another highly respected baseball scouting website) had Painter pinned as one of the best overall pitching prospects in this year’s class – dating back to mid-2020.

They described him as a “no-doubt top of the first round talent”:

MLB.com themselves had Painter listed as the 18th best prospect heading into this year’s draft and the eighth best pitcher, for whatever that’s worth.

The Phillies added another hard-throwing high school arm to their farm system last night by way of first-round pick Andrew Painter.

When it comes to what Painter accomplished during his high school pitching days, the list of accolades is rather extensive. He won a Gold Medal for the USA’s 15U National Team following his freshman year (and was named to the All-World Team that same summer), he was one of just two juniors to be invited to the Under Armour All-America Baseball Game at Wrigley Field in 2020, and he finished his senior season with a 0.38 ERA over 47 innings, which saw him named Florida’s Gatorade High School Player of the Year.

A rather impressive feat considering the amount of talent that Florida typically produces.

In terms of a physical scouting report on Painter, Perfect Game had the following to say:

"Outstanding pitcher’s build with ideal size and impressive present coordination for his size, plenty of room to get even stronger. Low effort delivery with a 3/4’s arm slot, can vary his tempo to give hitters different looks without loss of command or stuff, very comfortable and confident in all his actions on the mound. Steady mid-90’s fastball, topped out at 96 mph, has the present ability to spot his fastball to both sides of the plate. Change up is a very advanced pitch, likely the best change up in the class. Throws both a curveball and a slider for strikes with feel for different shapes. Highest level talent on the mound of the type that doesn’t come along every year. Good student, verbal commitment to Florida. Named to play in the Perfect Game All-American Classic."

Hall of Famer and former Phillies pitcher Pedro Martinez also had some pretty high praise for the young right-hander:

It’s borderline impossible to project just how good (or bad) high school baseball players are going to be as professionals – there’s simply too many factors that go into a player succeeding or not succeeding in Major League Baseball. However, it’s pretty clear that Dave Dombrowski and the Phillies are implementing a specific plan when it comes to rebuilding their currently depleted farm system. They now have two young, high-upside players in their system, and the work the organization’s developmental staff has been doing with Mick Abel thus far already looks pretty promising.

If they can replicate said type of development with Painter, you could be looking at the Phillies possessing two(!) future rotation pieces.

Nobody knows for sure if Painter was the “correct” pick at this point in time, but there’s definitely reason to be initially excited about the Florida native. High velocity and heavy pitch movement at such a young age is almost always a predecessor to success in the big leagues.

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