Phillies Phenom Andrew Painter Strikes Out Four, Extends Scoreless Streak
Philadelphia Phillies #3 prospect and 2021 1st round pick Andrew Painter, continued the dominant start to his professional career by tossing four innings of scoreless baseball and striking out four Saturday night in Clearwater.
I think we have to keep covering Andrew Painter every week until he finally gives up an earned run. If you aren’t keeping track, that 20 innings this season and 26 innings over the past two campaigns that Painter has essentially held hitters scoreless.
The list of accomplishments for the 6’7 right hander seems to be growing by the week and now includes striking out nine straight batters in his first start of the season, striking out 13 consecutive hitters in a game, and being named minor league co-pitcher for the month of April by the Phillies.
Just this week, Painter was drawing attention for hitting 100 mph on the radar gun with his fastball on multiple occasions. Somehow Painter has dropped in the latest ‘DIGS‘ score, which rates the game score for all pitchers in the minor leagues. I guess that unearned run and the fact that he is 0-1 because of it finally caught up to him.
Thats now a line of 26 IP, 52 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.73 WHIP for the 19-year-old’s minor league career.
Even John Kruk mentioned his name during a recent Phillies post-game broadcast when discussing potential starters to replace the underwhelming Christopher Sanchez. Obviously that is far fetched and an idea that no franchise in the league would entertain, but it goes to show you the excitement growing around the Phillies young pitcher.
Teams are extremely conservative with pitchers that show potential like Painter. Just last week, new Director of Player Development Preston Mattingly told the Scott Lauber of that the Phillies have no plans this season to promote Andrew Painter to Jersey Shore. The Phillies are only allowing Painter to pitch four or five innings maximum ,which would make sense considering most teams prefer to cap prospects at around 100 innings in their first few seasons.
Either way I think we can expect Andrew Painter to make his debut on the mid season top-100 prospect list when it is released sometime this summer.
The Phillies #2 prospect, Mick Abel, also had himself a nice weekend tossing four innings, allowing only one hit and striking out six. Abel did struggle with his command though, issuing five free passes on the evening. Altogether Abel has posted a record of 1-2 with 3.00 ERA over 18.1 innings, while holding opponents to a .211 average for High-A Jersey Shore.
It has been at least 20 years since the Phillies have had two pitching prospects show off this level of ability so early in their career. Just the thought of Abel and Painter sharing a mound at Double-A Reading next season has me giddy.
When the Phillies used consecutive 1st round picks on high school pitchers many analysts criticized the selection considering the difficulty in projecting young talent and the overall failure rate of prep pitchers taken that high in the draft. It certainly went against the ethos that the Phillies had applied to the draft for so long. One in which they were willing to take risks on young hitters with tools, but generally favored college aged arms and players who could reach the majors in less time.
It also gives the Phillies added flexibility, should they decide to pursue a veteran ace like when they acquired Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. There is no guarantee that either Mick Abel or Andrew Painter will find success at the games highest level. All we have to do is look back as recently as Spencer Howard, or even further back Kyle Drabek, for so called ‘can’t-miss’ pitching prospect that have never really amounted to anything of consequence.
But for once it appears the Phillies are finally making smart decisions in the draft and in their player development system. Don’t mind me while I full bask in the spotlight of potential success.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Clearwater Threshers