With the No. 13 overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, the Philadelphia Phillies selected Andrew Painter out of Calvary Christian High School in Florida.
As Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer noted, Painter was high school teammates with Joe Girardi’s son, Dante.
The 6-foot-7, 215-pound righty won the Gatorade High School Player of the Year in Florida for the 2020-21 school year, a pretty high honor in a state that produces a ton of great athletes.
MLB Pipeline says that the 18-year-old has an “exciting combination of raw stuff and feel for pitching,” pointing to the fact that he throws both a four-seam and two-seam fastball, along with a 12-6 curveball and a slider.
Painter will join a farm system that isn’t currently one of the better ones in the league. There’s a lot of excitement about last year’s first-round pick, Mick Abel, a 19-year-old righty currently pitching at Low-A Clearwater. 2019 fist-round pick Bryson Stott played in the MLB Futures Game Sunday, and could very well make an impact at the major league level in 2022.
Beyond those two, though, there’s not a ton to look forward to in the farm system right now. That’s an especially tough pill to swallow given that both Alec Bohm and Spencer Howard – the organization’s most recent top prospects – have had frustrating 2021 campaigns.
While the 2007-2011 Phillies eventually added Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence and Brad Lidge externally, they had a home-grown core those pieces were added onto that included Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson and Carlos Ruiz.
The Phillies two All-Stars in 2021 – Zack Wheeler and J.T. Realmuto – were acquired externally. As were Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura and Didi Gregorius. The only notable Phillies drafted and developed by the organization are the aforementioned Bohm, Aaron Nola and Rhys Hoskins.
For the Phillies to return to the postseason for the first time since 2011, and potentially put together another golden era, they’ll need to more consistently churn out star-caliber players from their system. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, general manager Sam Fuld and scouting director Brian Barber hope that this selection will help to change the narrative on the team’s farm system.
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