Zach Britton is the most popular kid in school right now. He’s sporting rad JNCO jeans, eating Lunchables in the cafeteria and has all the cool new N64 games.
That was the stuff that was popular when I was in school, I’d imagine it’s all still the same.
14 scouts from different teams watched Britton pitch for the O’s over the weekend. And why shouldn’t they? In four spring appearances, the O’s 26-year-old lefty has surrendered one run on five hits over seven innings pitched, walking two and striking out seven. Opponents are hitting just .185 against him.
All the cool kids are hanging out in the back of the bus with Britton listening to Smash Mouth on his Walkman and admiring his massive collection of pogs.
I’m jumping all over the place with my references, but you get it.
Here’s what the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo has heard about ZB this spring:
Scouts are watching him closely as he’s out of options. Only 26, Britton is still a pitcher scouts think they can salvage. He has pitched well and is trying to recapture the strong start to his big league career in 2011. The Orioles are aware of his value and the interest by other teams, but could keep him in the bullpen if they can’t get good value for him.
Britton pitched the majority of 2013 with the Triple-A Norfolk Tides in the International League where he went 6-5 over 19 starts with a 4.27 ERA, 1.529 WHIP, 9.8 H/9, 4.0 BB/9 and 6.5 K/9. He appeared in eight games for the Orioles (seven starts) pitching to a 4.95 ERA over 40 innings with a 1.725 WHIP, 11.7 H/9, 3.8 BB/9 and 4.1 K/9.
He could obviously be a valuable trade piece for the Orioles this season, but I think more importantly, he will be an vital part of the O’s pitching staff. Britton has the chance to join Brian Matusz as another lefty in the Orioles bullpen and his experience as a starter makes him an ideal candidate to pick up some innings in the likely event of an injury in the rotation.
Image Credit: Keith Allison