#25 Zachary Britton – Baltimore Orioles
Britton posted a 2.70 ERA in 153.1 IP between Double-A and Triple-A in 2010 as a 22-year-old. He struck out 124 guys while walking 51. His fastball/slider combo has a knack for keeping the ball in the yard, which is an important trait in pitchers in the A.L. East given the cozy dimensions and mashers around the division. With nothing really standing in the way of Britton and a rotation spot, it would not be surprising to see him called up after a few, quality Triple-A starts to begin 2011.
Britton is easily the top arm in Baltimore’s system. His sinking fastball can reach 96 mph, and his slider is already a 60 and only getting better. His weakness is a lack of command of his changeup, but very few guys in their early 20’s have anything close to average command of their 3rd pitch. Because Britton does such an exceptional job keeping the ball in the yard, he may never need the changeup in order to be successful. With an excellent build and excellent instincts, Britton profiles as a #2 in Baltimore’s rotation behind fellow lefty, Brian Matusz. Britton is easily one of the 10-best lefties in the Minor Leagues today.