No. 1-ranked Phillies prospect Andrew Painter is among the team's spring training invitees.
The Philadelphia Phillies recently announced that they will invite 21 non-roster players to spring training in Clearwater next month. While some of the names may seem unfamiliar, there are a few that should bring much-warranted attention during Grapefruit League action.
Players — such as Mark Appel and Francisco Morales — have appeared on the Phillies' major league roster before. Appel became a fan favorite due to his inspirational comeback story, and he pitched well with the club last summer when called upon. Morales only threw five innings in red pinstripes last year and didn't necessarily impress. However, at age 23, he is still young and can still turn into an effective pitcher.
The most intriguing names on the list are the young pitching trio of Andrew Painter, Mick Abel, and Griff McGarry. Of these three names, Painter is one fans should be most excited about. The young right-hander doesn't turn 20 until April and has a realistic chance to make the Opening Day roster. Painter was recently ranked as the top right-handed pitching prospect in baseball and has the skills to contribute meaningful innings for the Phillies this season.
Abel and McGarry are close behind, but may still need a little polishing before making it to the big leagues. Both had stellar seasons at multiple minor league levels last season and displayed dominant stuff, but they also showed some command struggles. Abel and McGarry are both still young — 21 and 23 years old, respectively. So, there is still plenty of time for both to improve their command. The way the Phillies pitching development has trended, it wouldn't be surprising to see one or both make an appearance in Philadelphia in 2023.
While the Phillies' big-league roster is deep in terms of pitching, having reliable guys in the minors is crucial to a team's success through a long and grueling 162-game season. The Phillies will likely rely on a few of these names at some point.