Philadelphia – Andrew Pinter is only 19, with only 14 months left of the Phillies’ selection for the first round in the 2021 MLB Draft.
“Everything is moving really fast,” Pinter said Thursday at Citizens Bank Park, where he was awarded Phillies’ Paul Owens Minor League Pitcher of the Year. “It’s kind of hard to control. I was thinking about it earlier, how fast that first year went by, but it’s also weird to think about how, at the beginning of the year, I was in Clearwater, then I was in three different locations. But it definitely moves fast.”
If Pinter thought the past 14 months went by quickly, he might not believe what the next 12 months might look like. Because Painter, who is the club’s best player and potential number 24 according to MLB Pipeline, is a good bet to be in the Phillies rotation at some point next season, if not on opening day.
“I mean, 100% if they’re ready for it,” Pinter said. “That’s all they do. I just do what they tell me to do and be ready whenever they are.”
The Phillies chief of baseball operations, Dave Dombrowski, said before the August 2 trade deadline, that he won’t trade painter, Mick Appel or Griff McGarry because he believes at least one of them could be in the rotation next season. Dombrowski has promoted young pitchers in the past, so it’s not just an exaggeration. Andrew Miller introduced to eventual champion AL Tigers when he was 21 in September 2006. Josh Beckett, who has been compared to Painter, introduced to the Marlins when he was 21 in September 2001.
The painter went 6-2 aggregate with 1.56 ERA in 103 2/3 innings with Single-A Clearwater, High-A Jersey Shore and Double-A Reading. Hit 155 and walk 25 only. Painter is the first Phillies Minor League player to post a 1.60 sub ERA (100 round minimum) with 145 or more hits since Cole Hummels in 2003.
These are numbers for video games.
“It’s cool to look at,” Pinter said. “But I try to block it, because my thing is, once you look at it and start to realize what I’ve done, it gets more difficult. So try to block it and worry about the next start. But it was an impressive stretch and it felt good.”
It was particularly impressive because Painter hit a pre-season goal by showing 100 runs for the first time in his life.
He said it was his biggest improvement.
“I kind of learned how important it is to get ahead and how easy it is,” he said.
The painter learns how important it is to preserve his body, too. He said it’s a priority this off season.
“Really, I think it’s just the work ethic,” he said. “Make sure I don’t get bogged down in suggestions. Make sure you pay attention to detail in every little thing you do. Prioritize taking care of the arm. Beginners here go from 150 to 200 rounds, so you can get through this workload, you should be able to take it.”
The painter already has a good future model in the Hall of Fame Justin Verlander. They train at Chrissy’s athletic performance in Florida in the off-season.
“Just seeing his work ethic off the field is really cool,” said Pinter.
Incidentally, Dombrowski’s Tigers drafted Verlander with the second overall pick in the 2004 draft. Verlander made his league debut in 2005.
There’s no reason to believe Painter can’t join Verlander, Beckett and Miller as one of Dombrowski’s fast rookies.
“I’m just going to go off season like I always do,” said Pinter. “Go back to the weight room and get ready for next season and spring training. Be it Double-A, Triple-A or [the Majors] Throughout the year, it will be the same, every six days. Just worry about it.”