Britton with the Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles – No. 53
December 22, 1987 |
Panorama City, California
|April 3, 2011 for the Baltimore Orioles|
(through July 29, 2015)
|Earned run average||3.80|
Career highlights and awards
Britton, the youngest of three brothers, was raised in Santa Clarita, California. During his only year at Canyon High School, he spent two days in intensive care when he sustained fractures of the skull and clavicle and bleeding in the brain as a result of diving headfirst into concrete while attempting to catch a foul popup during baseball practice with the freshman squad. When he moved with his family to Texas, he transferred to Weatherford High School, where he was an all-state outfielder who also pitched.
Britton was offered an athletic scholarship to attend Texas A&M University. After he was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the third round (85th overall) of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft, he accepted a $200,000 signing bonus to join the ballclub.
Before the 2010 season, he was considered the Orioles third best prospect according to Baseball America. In a midseason top 25 prospect list, he was ranked the 10th best prospect in all of baseball. Prior to 2011, Baseball America had him ranked second among Orioles prospects.
Even though he was the Orioles' best pitcher statistically during spring training, he was expected to start the 2011 campaign in the minors when he was optioned to the Norfolk Tides on March 29. That all changed when he was recalled five days later on April 3 to replace the injured Brian Matusz on the starting rotation. Britton capped a season-opening three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays by winning his MLB debut that same day in a 5–1 victory at Tropicana Field. He allowed a run and three hits in six innings.
Britton showcased his batting prowess during his first experience with interleague play. His five hits in eight at-bats were the most by any American League (AL) pitcher in 2011. His first major league hit and run batted in (RBI) came on a double off Jason Marquis in the fourth inning of an 8–4 defeat to the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 17. He hit his first big league home run off Brandon Beachy in the third inning of a 5–4 victory over the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on July 3.
Britton was unexpectedly sent to the Bowie Baysox on July 9. After a 5–1 start, he had lost six of his next seven decisions. There was speculation that the Orioles made the move to prevent him from getting a full year of major league service time and thus delaying his eligibility for free agency by a season.
On March 26, 2012, Britton was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a left shoulder impingement. He was then transferred retroactively to the 60-day disabled list on June 3, but was reinstated on June 6 to begin his minor league rehab assignment with the Tides. He made his 2012 debut on July 17.
The Orioles optioned Britton to their Triple-A affiliate Norfolk Tides on March 23 to start the 2013 season. He was recalled on April 25.
Britton made the opening day roster for the 2014 Orioles season and picked up his first win of the year pitching in relief against the Red Sox on March 31. On May 15, Britton earned his first career save, against the Kansas City Royals, pitching a perfect 9th inning. Britton would assume the role of Orioles' closer for the rest of the season, converting 37 of the 41 save opportunities presented to him, finishing the regular season with a 1.65 ERA. The Orioles would sweep the Detroit Tigers in the 2014 American League Division Series, with Britton earning a pair of saves, in games 2 and 3.
On February 4, 2015 Britton agreed to $3.2 million deal and avoided arbitration hearing.
Britton was selected to his first career MLB All-Star Game after going 1-0 with 23 saves in 24 attempts and a 1.72 ERA in the first half. Britton pitched two-thirds scoreless innings in the game and he also struck out one batter.
Britton is married to Southern Methodist University law student Courtney Leggett. Their first child was born on October 7, 2014. His older brother Buck Britton is an infielder was drafted by the Orioles in the 35th round of the 2008 MLB Draft. He also has a cousin to Lance Britton, who hosts The Lance Britton Show on Mile High Sports Radio 1510 in Denver, CO.
- "Van Valkenburg, Kevin. "Great find and terrible loss have buoyed Orioles' Britton," ''The Baltimore Sun'', Tuesday, April 26, 2011". Baltimoresun.com. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- April 18, 2011 1:55 a.m. (April 18, 2011). "Gulino, Joey. "Around the SCV: Canyon alum is holding camp," ''The Signal'' (Santa Clarita Valley, CA), Monday, April 18, 2011". The-signal.com. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- "Ghiroli, Brittany. "Britton beats the odds, boost O's," MLB.com, Friday, April 15, 2011". Baltimore.orioles.mlb.com. May 28, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- "2006 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, Rounds 1–10 – Pro Sports Transactions". Prosportstransactions.com. November 20, 2006. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- Lingo, Will (December 17, 2009). "Baltimore Orioles 2010 top prospects". Baseballamerica.com. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- "Midseason Updated Top 25 Prospects". Baseballamerica.com. July 9, 2010. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- Lingo, Will (November 1, 2010). "Baltimore Orioles 2011 top prospects". Baseballamerica.com. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- "Ghiroli, Brittany. "Britton optioned, will open season in Triple-A," MLB.com, Tuesday, March 29, 2011". Baltimore.orioles.mlb.com. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- ""Orioles place LHP Brian Matusz on disabled list," Baltimore Orioles press release, Sunday, April 3, 2011". Baltimore.orioles.mlb.com. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- Ghiroli, Brittany. "Ghiroli, Brittany. "Britton sharp in debut as Orioles sweep Rays," MLB.com, Sunday, April 3, 2011". Baltimore.orioles.mlb.com. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- Zrebiec, Jeff (July 3, 2011). "Zrebiec, Jeff. "Orioles' Britton shows off his power stroke," ''The Baltimore Sun'', Monday, July 4, 2011". Baltimoresun.com. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- Zrebiec, Jeff (July 3, 2011). "Ghiroli, Brittany. "Britton notches first big league hit and RBI," MLB.com, Saturday, June 18, 2011". Baltimoresun.com. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- Jeff Zrebiec (July 9, 2011). "Zrebiec, Jeff. "Orioles demote Zach Britton to Double-A Bowie,"". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- ""Orioles activate LHP Zach Britton from 60-day DL and option him to Triple-A Norfolk," Baltimore Orioles press release, Wednesday, June 6, 2012". Baltimore.orioles.mlb.com. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- Encina, Eduardo A. (July 17, 2012). "Zach Britton more confident as he prepares for Tuesday start". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Snyder, Matt (April 25, 2013). "Orioles recall Zach Britton; is he ready for another rotation shot?". Retrieved April 26, 2013.
- "Zach Britton Stats, Video Highlights, Photos, Bio". Baltimore Orioles. 2015. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
- "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Zachary Britton". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- "Zach Britton drops by Intentional Talk". Mlb.mlb.com. March 12, 2013. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- Footer, Alyson (October 9, 2014). "ALCS trio experiencing new joy of fatherhood". MLB.com. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)