Phillies’ Top Prospect “Looks Like He Belongs” In 1st Spring Start

When you're the No. 1 pitching prospect in all of baseball, big things are expected—even if you're still just 19 years old. Andrew Painter, the Philadelphia Phillies' first-round pick in the 2021 Draft (13th overall), displayed a major league readiness in his first spring start unheard of for a teenager.

He threw 29 pitches in two innings in his Grapefruit League debut on Wednesday against the Minnesota Twins, allowing one run on three hits. His heater touched 99 mph, including a couple of times against Carlos Correa. 

“He’s mature beyond his years,” Correa said. “Pounded the zone, not afraid of anyone, just going out there and throwing strikes. Very special... I believe this kid’s going to be a star.”

High praise indeed from one of the game's stars.

His teammates were certainly impressed too. “It’s just electric,” second baseman Scott Kingery said. “It jumps out of his hand."

Will he break camp with the big club at the age of 19? According to Phillies beat writer Matt Gelb of The Athletic, "if they see enough, he’ll be in the rotation."

Last year, across three levels (A, High-A and Double-A), Painter—who turns 20 on April 10th—used his fastball to simply dominate hitters. He posted a 1.56 ERA with a 0.88 WHIP and 13.5 strikeouts per nine. In 103.2 innings pitched, he allowed just 67 hits. 

This Painter is hoping to bring his art to a major league mound early in 2023.

Photo: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports