With the 13th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, the Philadelphia Phillies selected right-hander Andrew Painter. An elite rookie in the state, Painter has pledged to play for the Gators in 2022.
With high-speed ballast and room to add muscle to its 6-foot-7 frame, Painter is a throwable launcher that has room to get even more powerful. His fastball / change mix is one of the best in the 2021 draft class, and at one point he was considered the best high school pitcher available. Instead, Oklahoma native Jackson Jobe passed him and was drafted by the Tigers with the third pick overall.
Due to his pick level, there is almost no chance Painter will reach the Gators under normal circumstances. Something unusual, like a previously undisclosed injury or a surprise positive test for DCs, would have to emerge for a deal between the two parties not to be reached.
Painter was part of a much-loved recruiting class that the Gators rounded up, but as has happened for many years, the best of the bunch were always far and away to make it to Gainesville.
However, the pairing between Painter and the Phillies may be non-ideal. An anonymous source we contacted expressed concerns that Philadelphia is not the right team to take the reins of its development.
“The Phillies have proven they can develop pure stuff, something Painter already has in spades. But [they] have also proven successful in failing to develop the command / control of young guns as they mature, as well as to keep young guns healthy, ”they said.
“As a 6’7 and possibly still growing arm, Painter will likely need a lot of help managing his long levers for both repetition and health. The Phils have had their best success in developing slightly more mature arms and under 6’4 and yet continue to draft like they’re the Rays. It seems like a frustrating disconnect between what they’re developing well and what they’re bringing in through the draft. “