In 2021, the Philadelphia Phillies took right-handed pitcher Andrew Painter in the first round, with the 13th overall pick.
He was praised as one of the best picks in the draft at the time.
He has pitched at several minor league stops, including the Florida Complex League, Class-A, High-A, and Double-A.
So far, none of those levels have represented a real challenge for the young flamethrower, who is looking more and more like an emerging ace.
The highest ERA he has had in his professional career is last year at Double-A, with a 2.54 showing in 28.1 innings.
Oh, and he struck out 37 hitters, too, against just a couple of walks.
The righty had his first spring training start on Wednesday, and while he allowed a run, he still managed to impress those watching.
“In the first spring inning of the 6-foot-7 Andrew Painter, it just looked like hitters were overwhelmed by his fastball. Looks like his release point is well beyond that of most pitchers,” MLB insider Buster Olney tweeted.
In the first spring inning of the 6-foot-7 Andrew Painter, it just looked like hitters were overwhelmed by his fastball. Looks like his release point is well beyond that of most pitchers.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) March 1, 2023
Painter totaled two innings, in which he allowed three hits and struck out one.
His fastball topped out at 99 mph.
That’s some serious cheese right there, and he has the vaunted “rise” effect that stems from the spin axis of the pitch.
In other words, his fastball is plus-plus and can generate lots of whiffs.
It will be a problem for major league hitters, possibly as early as this year.
He has a good chance of making his MLB debut later in the season and can help the Phillies make a run at their second consecutive pennant.NEXT: Kyle Schwarber Comments On Fixing A Major Issue On Offense