The untouchables: 4 top prospects Phillies definitely need to keep off the trade block

If the Phillies move towards the trade route to find upgrades for their roster, which top prospects should not be moved under any circumstances?
Andrew Painter, Philadelphia Phillies No. 1 prospect
Andrew Painter, Philadelphia Phillies No. 1 prospect / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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Andrew Painter, SP, No.1 prospect

The former first-round pick right out of high school by the Phillies from the 2021 MLB Draft, right-handed pitcher Andrew Painter is perhaps one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball.

Armed with a blistering 70-grade fastball and a 60-grade slider, along with tremendous command and control with his pitches, Painter blazed through three minor league levels during the 2022 season. He posted a combined ERA of 1.56, WHIP of 0.887 and 155 strikeouts in just 103 2/3 innings pitched. It was truly an amazing feat as he did it all at just the young age of 19, making him the top-ranked prospect in the organization according to MLB Pipeline in the process.

More impressively, it was believed that Painter actually had an inside shot of making the Phillies’ 2023 Opening Day roster until he was befallen by an elbow UCL injury that resulted in season-ending Tommy John surgery in the end. As a result, Painter likely won’t be back in action until the 2025 season.

Despite the Phillies being currently in win-now mode, they shouldn't even think about including Painter in any trade talks, given his enormous talent and potential. He represents the Phillies’ best homegrown pitching talent since Nola and will no doubt be a force on their pitching staff for many years to come.

In addition, his value could be hindered by his current injury status, so it makes no sense for the Phillies to move him when they might not end up getting anything of quality back. As a result, the key for the Phillies now is to be patient with Painter so that they can reap the benefits once he's back to full health.

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