Phillies sign top 11 picks from 2021 MLB draft

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Phillies sign top draft pick; Wheeler to resume Cy Young bid originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Phillies announced on Saturday that they have signed their top 11 draft picks, including first-rounder Andrew Painter.

Painter, a 6-7 right-handed pitcher, was the 13th overall pick in the draft. He received a $3.9 million signing bonus. He had been committed to the University of Florida.

Painter, 18, immediately becomes one of the Phillies’ top prospects, joining Mick Abel, the club’s top pick a year ago. Abel is a 6-5 right-hander. The Phillies hope the duo blossoms into a dominant 1-2 punch in the majors someday.

Abel, 19, is currently pitching at Low A Clearwater.

The Phillies made 20 picks in the draft earlier this week. Fourteen of them were pitchers.

Wheeler ready to go

One of the storylines of the second half of the Phillies season recommences Sunday afternoon when Zack Wheeler takes the mound against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.

With 44 percent of the season remaining, Wheeler is a candidate for the National League Cy Young award. The Phillies haven’t had a Cy Young winner since Roy Halladay in 2010.

It was not clear Saturday night who Wheeler would pitch against in the series finale against Miami. The Marlins placed scheduled starter Pablo Lopez on the injured list with a right rotator cuff strain on Saturday.

Wheeler comes into Sunday’s start tied for the majors’ lead in innings pitched (119 2/3). He is third in strikeouts with 145 and fourth in the NL in ERA at 2.26.

Two-time NL Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets is the frontrunner to win the award again. He leads the majors with a 1.08 ERA. But deGrom has pitched significantly fewer innings (92) than Wheeler and on Saturday was shut down with forearm tightness. He will not make his scheduled start Monday for the Mets.

San Francisco’s Kevin Gausman, Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff, Miami’s Trevor Rogers and the Dodgers’ Walker Buehler are also in the running for the NL Cy Young with more than two months to go.

Wheeler signed a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies before the 2020 season. He has a 2.50 ERA in 29 starts with the club.

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