See also: Baseball America updated all its prospect rankings for subscribers in August.
Not since Cole Hamels have Phillies fans been this excited about a pitching prospect.
Righthander Andrew Painter scaled three minor league levels this season and dominated the entire way. It’s not a reach to believe he could be in the MLB rotation—as a 20-year-old—some time next season.
A year after being drafted 13th overall out of Calvary Christian High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Painter opened this season at Low-A Clearwater before moving to High-A Jersey Shore in mid June and then Double-A Reading on Aug. 21.
In 22 starts Painter recorded a 1.56 ERA with 155 strikeouts, 25 walks and 67 hits allowed in 103.2 innings. He allowed just five home runs, three of those at Double-A.
At 6-foot-7, 215 pounds, Painter has a power pitcher’s frame and a high-90s fastball. He completes what Phillies farm director Preston Mattingly projects as a “plus repertoire across the board” with a curveball, slider and changeup.
“His biggest improvement this season was his breaking ball,” Mattingly said. “We all knew his fastball had a chance to be elite.
“His curveball and slider had a tendency to blend at times, (but) he’s done a really good job separating those two and firming up his slider, getting a little more horizontal sweep. It’s really taken off for him.”
Mattingly sees a complete pitcher in Painter.
“It’s the work ethic, the intellect, the knowledge of pitching, the athleticism, the ability to repeat his delivery, field his position, slow the game down,” Mattingly said. “It all goes into one total package.”
Heading into the final three weeks of the season, the Phillies were positioned to win a National League wild card. But ownership wants more, and so does president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, who didn’t come to Philadelphia in his mid 60s to win just wild cards.
Perhaps Painter is next.