Phillies top prospect Andrew Painter continues to dominate

A Rawlings ball sits in a Wilson glove (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
A Rawlings ball sits in a Wilson glove (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Top Phillies pitching prospect Andrew Painter throws another gem.

Philadelphia Phillies fans have something to be excited about — and it doesn’t even pertain to their current chase for a National League Wild Card spot. The excitement stems from their No. 1 prospect Andrew Painter and his ability to dominate opposing hitters at multiple levels in the minor leagues.

Painter was called up to Double-A Reading in late August and has made a seamless transition to facing more talented hitting. On Friday night, the right-hander went five innings, surrendering only three hits and one walk, while striking out nine batters on just 72 pitches.

Following Friday’s start, Painter has pitched 24 1/3 innings at Reading. In that time, he has a 1.11 ERA. Even more impressive is that he has struck out 32 opposing hitters, while walking just two.

The numbers that Painter is putting up are even more incredible because he is just 19 years old. The Phillies were hoping to see this type of progression from their top prospect when they promoted him from High-A Jersey Shore to Double-A. The club has to be more than happy with how Painter has transitioned from level to level.

To compare, New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole threw 59 innings in Double-A in 2012. In those frames, he had 60 strikeouts and 23 walks. He was also 22 =years old at that time. Baseball fans know how Cole has turned out.

Prospects are never a sure thing. Fans often create excitement around prospects, just to watch them struggle or not produce in the majors. Phillies fans have seen this quite a few times over the years. The hype around Painter is certainly warranted. He has impressed all season and has handled each promotion well. He will most likely not be called up until at least 2023, because he has pitched 99 2/3 innings this season — the most he has pitched since being drafted. Risking injury would not be wise.

Phillies fans can be hopeful, however, that Painter and fellow pitching prospects Griff McGarry and Mick Abel can make an impact on the major-league club next season — although McGarry could be on a big-league mound even sooner.

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