The Phillies have had one of the worst farm systems in Major League Baseball for a while now. However, the past three MLB Drafts have provided a lot more excitement for the future of the organization. 2019 first round pick Bryson Stott is progressing very well at the plate, expected to be an early call-up next season for the Phillies. Last year, the Phillies selected Mick Abel, and elite RHP who sits as the organizations top ranked prospect. Today the Phillies added another young RHP Andrew Painter out of Calvary Christian Academy in Florida with the 13th pick of the MLB Draft. Painter was the 2nd ranked RHP in high school this past season, and he won the Gatorade Player of the Year in Florida, a state that breeds talent.
Painter has an elite fastball that tops out around 96 mph with elite control. At just the age of 18, the 6'7" 215 righty has room to grow into his frame and add more velocity to that pitch. He also has a slider, changeup, and curveball to compliment his primary pitch.
There is no denying the talent of Painter and the Phillies need for Starting Pitching, but the pick will come with tons of controversy. There was an elite talent in SS Khalil Watson, MLB.com's 4th ranked prospect. What makes the pick even more controversial is the fact that Watson fell to the division rival Miami Marlins at pick 16.
The Phillies clearly selected for need over talent with the selection, and only time will tell if the pick was the correct one or not. The Phillies have 3 of their top 6 prospects listed as SS, and they seem to have decided to add a pitcher rather than loading up on the middle infield. The Free Agent class is a historically good one at SS as well, and maybe the Phillies will make a push for one of those players.
Elite pitching will always win games, and the Phillies now have two elite young prospects (three if you include Spencer Howard.) Hopefully the long drought of elite talent in the farm system ends with these players.
It is worth noting that Painter is a former teammate of Joe Girardi's son in high school, likely playing into the selection. Girardi and Phillies scouts have seen the kid pitch many of times, and it looks like Girardi has his hands all over this selection. This also could indicate the Phillies plans for Girardi moving forward, as many fans have called for his job this season.