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Articles Tagged Zach Britton 

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June 13, 2013 5:00 am

Free Agent Watch: Week 11

12

Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

Mike and Bret debut a new-and-improved format, with advice better catered to your specific leagues.

Welcome to the revamped version of the Free Agent Watch. The staff at Baseball Prospectus read a number of comments on how to enhance this piece and made the following changes:

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September 19, 2012 11:15 am

Overthinking It: The Surprisingly Hard-to-Hit Pitches of 2012

10

Ben Lindbergh

Having a great pitch doesn't make you a great pitcher, as the PITCHf/x leaderboards show.

If you’re like me, you’ve been waiting for PITCHf/x leaderboards filled with info from Brooks Baseball for a while. And now that you have them—again, if you’re like me—you’re compelled to keep sorting columns in descending order, in every possible permutation, just to see what will rise to the top. Sometimes what rises to the top is a name you don’t expect to see. This is an article about a few of those names, and the pitches that plucked them out of obscurity and took them to the top of a leaderboard where no one would have expected them to be.

There are many ways to gauge the effectiveness of a particular pitch. One way is to see how often batters fail to hit the pitch when they attempt to. This leaves out a lot of information—how often they attempt to hit it, how well they do when they succeed, how well the pitch sets up a subsequent offering—but it is a quick-and-dirty way to assess unhittability. The most unhittable pitches—by this definition of “unhittable”—are pretty predictable. Cole Hamels has the most unhittable changeup. Zack Greinke (or Edwin Jackson, depending on your minimums) has the most unhittable slider. A.J. Burnett has the most unhittable curve. (That one might seem slightly less predictable, but even during his disappointing seasons, Burnett’s curve was always hard to hit.) Among relievers, if you set the thresholds low enough, Aroldis Chapman has the most unhittable fastball and the most unhittable slider. Aroldis Chapman is really hard to hit.

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Brian Wilson experiences more elbow soreness, Carlos Marmol's MRI comes back clean, Zach Britton gets good news about his shoulder, and Orlando Hudson's groin continues to keep him off the field.

Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants (Right elbow soreness)
After finally appearing to be over his 2011 elbow problems, Wilson developed soreness in his right elbow, which has to have everyone concerned. He missed over a month last season due to a strain of the flexor muscle mass on the inside aspect of his elbow. In addition to contributing to force reproduction levels necessary to throw the ball in the upper 90s, the flexor mass is an important stabilizer to the ligament, made famous by Tommy John (with an assist from Dr. Frank Jobe).

Velocity is one of the factors that have been associated with injuries to this ligament in throwers. Whenever a pitcher experiences multiple bouts of elbow pain within a year’s time, there has to be concern about some underlying cause, whether it is ligament, cartilage, or tendon damage. Wilson was able to throw in a minor-league game on Thursday and kept his velocity in the upper 90s. He’s not out of the woods yet, but for now, he’s day to day.


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September 12, 2011 5:00 am

Kiss'Em Goodbye: Baltimore Orioles

9

Steven Goldman, Kevin Goldstein and ESPN Insider

Prince Fielder is a perfect fit, but the Orioles have numerous questions to answer

Kiss 'Em Goodbye is a series focusing on MLB teams as their postseason dreams fadewhether in September (or before), the League Division Series, League Championship Series or World Series. It combines a broad overview from Baseball Prospectus, a front-office take from former MLB GM Jim Bowden, a best- and worst-case scenario ZiPS projection for 2012 from Dan Szymborski and Kevin Goldstein's farm system overview.

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April 18, 2011 5:54 am

On the Beat: Britton's Got Talent

8

John Perrotto

Buck Showalter has high hopes for the latest youngster to join the Orioles' young rotation.

Zach Britton is a rare bird, and not just because he pitches for the Orioles. The left-handed rookie's best pitch is a hard sinker that during his minor-league days caused hitters to pound the ball into ground at an amazing rate. Britton has now reached the majors on the strength of his two-seam fastball that stays low in the strike zone and breaks plenty of bats.

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November 17, 2010 12:00 pm

Future Shock: Baltimore Orioles Top 11 Prospects

34

Kevin Goldstein

With so many young players graduating to the big leagues, the Orioles system is suddenly among the thinnest in the game.

Previous Rankings: 2010 | 2009 | 2008

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November 9, 2009 11:31 am

Future Shock: Orioles Top 11 Prospects

43

Kevin Goldstein

Graduations have stocked the big-league team and thinned the list of prospects, but there's more to come on the mound.

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