Prospect Review – Drake Britton


The next prospect up for review is Drake Britton of the Boston Red Sox.

The Basics
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
How Acquired: Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 23rd round of the 2007 amateur draft.
Age as of 4/1/11: 21

Scouting Reports and Statistics

The Baseball Cube

Lg     Lev W L  ERA   IP  H ER HR BB SO  WHIP
SALL     A 2 3 2.97 75.2 69 25  5 23 78 1.216

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/1/2011.

Prospect Ranks
Deep Leagues: #141 (Overall –  2011), #58 (SP – 2011)
Baseball America: #3 (BOS – 2011)
Keith Law: #90 (Overall – 2011)
John Sickels: #2 (BOS – 2011) B
Scouting Book: #20 (LHP – 2011), #124 (Overall – 2011)
Top Prospect Alert: #6 (BOS – 2011)

Analysis

Britton was drafted out of high school in the 23rd round by the Red Sox in 2007, but only really made his full season debut in 2010. He posted an excellent set of stats, going 2-3 with a 2.97 ERA and 78 strikeouts to 23 walks in just under 76 innings pitched for the Red Sox’ Sally League affiliate.

He stood out to me when I was first looking at which prospects to review because John Sickels had ranked him as the 2nd best prospect in the system after the Adrian Gonzalez trade. The part that was interesting to me was the fact that he was not particularly well ranked by many of the other major websites out there.

According to SoxProspects.com, Britton missed the majority of 2009 while he recovered from Tommy John surgery, and was limited in 2010 by the Sox as a result of this as well.

Not surprisingly, there’s not been a whole lot written about Britton since his surgery. But here’s what Mike Newman of Scouting the Sally had to write about him:

In the Sally, multiple scouts reported his being between 91-95 MPH with one stating he’d rather have Britton in his organization than Colorado Rockies uber-prospect Tyler Matzek.

Here’s some of what Keith Law had to say about it in his Top 100 profile of Britton:

He’s aggressive and will throw strikes, if not always the quality strikes he needs, and his arm works well. He threw only about 90 to 95 innings in 2010, including work in spring training, so he’ll remain on a fairly low innings cap in 2011 and is probably a good three years out, with the chance that he’s a Jon Lester Lite down the road.

Outlook

Overall, he seems like a very high upside prospect given where he’s at currently. The Red Sox system has been effectively cut off at the top with the trade of Adrian Gonzalez to the Padres, but Britton looks like he could make the next jump in 2011.

Prediction for 2011

7 wins, 110 innings pitched, 3.50 ERA, 100 strikeouts, 30 walks (High-A)

Expected ETA

2014 seems most likely for an appearance in the bigs, but based on the fact that he will need to build up endurance in addition to progressing up the levels, he seems more likely to be in a permanent role in 2015.

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