MLB Draft Profile: Andrew Painter

MLB Draft Profile: Andrew Painter

by May 18, 2021 3 comments

The 2021 MLB Draft will begin on July 11, 2021, in Atlanta, Ga. We take a look at Calvary Christian Academy’s Andrew Painter, who has become the top-rated prep pitcher in this year’s class.

Make sure to check out all of our other MLB Draft Profiles.

Andrew Painter, RHP, Calvary Christian Academy (Fla.)

Height: 6’7″
Weight: 225 lbs.
Age: 18
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
2018: 9G, 4GS, 23 IP, 5-0, 0.30 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 1 ER, 9 BB, 38 K
2019:
11GS, 53.2 IP, 7-2, 1.43 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 11 ER, 11 BB, 77 K
2020: 3G, 12 IP, 2-1, 0.58 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 1 ER, 7 BB, 27 K
2021: 12G, 1GS, 45.1 IP, 6-1, 0.31 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 2 ER, 14 BB, 91 K

Scouting Grades

Fastball: 60
Slider: 55
Curveball: 50
Changeup: 60
Control: 55

There’s a lot to like about Painter’s repertoire. He boasts a solid fastball and changeup while also possessing a slider that has the potential to be a lethal pitch late in counts. The right-hander has also been brilliant in high school, posting staggering numbers and earning clear recognition as the top high school arm in the upcoming draft.

Strengths

Painter’s fastball velocity isn’t anything exceptional (mid-90s, reaches 96 mph), but what he does with the pitch is what makes it so valuable. He likes to throw the pitch up late in the count, inducing swings and misses above the strike zone. He can also make the fastball heavy, getting it to drop. Further, he has very good accuracy and paints the corners beautifully. (After all, it’s literally in his last name.) All of these factors allow him to attack batters in different areas of the zones, making him unpredictable and very challenging to hit against.

He also throws a really nice changeup. He could benefit from throwing the pitch with a little less spin, but he’s still able to give it depth and uses it to baffle batters. It’s safe to assume that he posses the best changeup among all high schoolers in the draft. All in all, it’s a really strong pitch that he uses sparingly, only throwing it when truly necessary.

Painter also has a solid slider. The pitch clocks in around the low-80s and can feature some really impressive spin. Meanwhile, his 12-6 curveball has really good death.

Weaknesses

Staying on the topic of the slider, the pitch needs to be thrown with slightly more control. He doesn’t really overuse it, per se, but rather employs it a bit too impatiently, throwing it early in counts and often losing control of it above the zone. It’s still a good pitch that has plenty of potential, but he just needs to settle down a little bit and hone in on when and how he throws it.

Outside of its drop, Painter’s 12-6 curve doesn’t really do anything special. It has just moderate spin and speed (around 80 mph) and lacks the true swing-and-miss factor late in the count that many curveball masters possess. That’s not a huge problem—not every pitcher needs a great curveball—but rather just indicates that the curve won’t be “his pitch.”

Pro Comparison: Zach Eflin

There are a lot of similarities between Eflin and Painter’s games. The Philadelphia Phillies starter is a big-bodied, 6-foot-6, 220-pound hurler with a low-to-mid-90s fastball, mid-to-upper-80s slider, mid-80s changeup, and upper-70s curveball. It’s not hard to see how this relates to Painter’s arsenal.

Further, Painter’s ideal repertoire breakdown mirrors how Eflin throws. The 27-year-old throws his fastball more than half the time, which Painter will likely be asked to do in the pros. Eflin also uses his slider on 25 percent of pitches, which is a fairly high number. That sounds a lot like Painter, who loves to use the pitch early and often. The Phillies starter also throws his changeup on 11 percent of pitches and curveball on nine percent. Painter might be asked to throw the changeup more than 11 percent and curveball less than nine once he develops the former, but the general idea of the arsenal’s breakdown still stands.

Draft Projection: Top-15 Pick

Painter’s draft stock is quite similar to that of Mick Abel, a prep right-hander who was drafted to the Phillies with the 15th overall pick last year. For Painter, it’s all a matter of preference. If there’s a run on college arms or a team is really fascinated by the idea of drafting a prep pitcher, he might go top-12 or even top-10. If not, he could fall to the lower 10s or even early 20s. There’s a lot up in the air, but the fact of the matter is that Painter boasted incredible metrics in high school and could make the right team really happy this July.


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Main Image Credit: Perfect Game

Andersen is a teenage sportswriter and reporter whose articles have appeared across the Prime Time Sports Talk, Sports Illustrated Kids, FantasyPros, and SB Nation platforms. He has also received credit from RotoWorld, CBS Sports, ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, The Athletic, SB Nation, NBC Sports, NY Post, and dozens of other sports sites for his reporting work.

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