PHILADELPHIA -- Andrew Painter’s Phillies career is underway.
The team announced on Saturday night that Painter, whom it selected with the 13th overall pick in the 2021 Draft, has signed a contract worth $3.9 million, which is $300,000 under the slot’s value. The Phillies also signed each of their picks from the second through the 11th round.
Painter is the big one. He established himself as one of the top prep pitchers in the country because of his combination of size, stuff and feel for pitching. He is 6-foot-7 and 215 pounds with a fastball that sits in the 94-96 mph range and touches 97 mph. He throws a four-seam fastball, sinker, curveball, slider and changeup. He went 6-1 with a 0.31 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings as a senior, earning Florida’s Gatorade Player of the Year Award.
“He’s a large human being,” Phillies amateur scouting director Brian Barber said this week. “And you notice that immediately. You start digging into some of the baseball attributes that he has, and the delivery has an excellent starting point, the arm action works really well. And then he just has really good stuff. The very first times that we saw him last summer, he was up to 97 mph. He has a curveball and slider that both project to plus [pitches], and a changeup that he has really good feel for as an 18-year-old. And, really above that, sort of the icing on the cake for us is it was a guy that at 17 years old has feel for pitching and the ability to throw strikes, and it was really just a complete package for us from Day 1.
“This is a kid that desires to be great. He gets after it. When we start talking about attributes of potential big leaguers, one of our main tenets is makeup. So, we've done a deep dive there. He was one of the first kids I did a Zoom call with starting back last November or December. And we've just got to know Andrew better since then. And we also had in our back pocket the fact that Joe Girardi’s known known him since he was 15 years old.”
The Phillies selected outfielder Ethan Wilson with their second-round pick. MLB.com ranked him as the 35th-best prospect in the Draft. Wilson battled a preseason ankle injury, but he hit .318 with eight home runs, 34 RBIs and a .947 OPS as a junior. He walked 33 times and struck out only 21 times in 253 plate appearances as he changed his approach at the plate to hit for more contact. His 8.3 percent strikeout rate was one of the best in the nation.
“We think it’s a complete hitting package,” Barber said. “We just love the offensive potential with him. It’s high contact skills with really good barrel control and a guy who hits the ball hard, so we think it’s like the complete offensive package with both hit and hit for power in the future.”
Rick Reedy High School (Tex.) outfielder Jordan Viars was selected in the third round. He flew under the radar to Draft publications, but the Phillies were thrilled to land him in the third round.
The fourth through 11th round picks include:
Round 4, 114th overall: Micah Ottenbreit, RHP, Trenton HS (Mich.)
Round 5, 145th overall: Griff McGarry, RHP, University of Virginia
Round 6, 175th overall: Jose Pena, RHP, Tampa Preparatory School (Fla.)
Round 7, 205th overall: Christian McGowan, RHP, Eastern Oklahoma State JC
Round 8, 235th overall: Jason Ruffcorn, RHP, University of Oklahoma
Round 9, 265th overall: Gavin Tonkel, OF, Heritage HS (Calif.)
Round 10, 295th overall: Logan Cerny, OF, Troy University
Round 11, 325th overall: Andrew Baker, RHP, Chipola College (Fla.)