We continue our countdown of top prospects here at The Good Phight, counting backwards from 20 to our top prospect.
Andrew Painter, 18 years old, RHP
Painter is a prototypical prep arm with an XXL frame, premium arm strength and nascent feel for spin, and like many high schoolers of this ilk, he has a mid-rotation shot if everything comes together. Painter’s fastball velocity climbed throughout the 2020 summer, and he wrapped sitting 94-97 mph during his last abbreviated showcase outing. He has three other pitches: a mid-80s changeup, a mid-70s curveball, and a mid-80s slider that has cuttery, horizontal action right now, but for which Painter has good arm-side feel. You could point to Tyler Kolek and argue there’s some elevated risk in taking a kid this large in the first round, but his stuff belonged in the middle-third of Day One and that’s exactly where Painter went. He’s a classic high-ceiling, high-risk teenage pitcher.
Jay: 3, Ethan: 3, Alex: 3
The Phillies seem to be in the habit of selecting high ceiling prep arms with their first picks in the draft. They’ve done it now the past two years and both of the arms they’ve selected have vaulted to the top of their prospect lists. Painter was chosen last year and while the team developed him a little further once he got to instructs, he did get into four innings for the team.
You can see from the above video that he’s got the stuff. Here’s another video from directly behind home plate that shows just how good his stuff is.
Granted, both of these are over a year and a half old, so there could be some other changes the team has, but the raw stuff is there. The fastball is moving and for a high schooler, he could command it pretty well (it still needs work). The slider was buckling a few guys and the changeup is nascent at best, but there is so much here for the team to work with, you can see why he went so high in the draft.
Painter also has the distinct honor of “most likely top three Phillies prospect to be traded this offseason.” The team looks like they’re pretty loathe to give up Mick Abel and Bryson Stott may take a large role on the big league club this year. Naturally that has led some to assume that if a deal is to be made, Painter would have to be the one that is moved for the Phillies to add an impact player. At this point, it would have to be a pretty impactful guy because Painter looks like another steal for the Phillies. We’re looking at the likely #2 prospect in the system next year, so long as he’s still in Philadelphia.