Britton's Star Continues Rising In Orioles' System
First baseman Joe Mahoney
didn't carry big expectations into the 2010 season, but he'll leave it with pretty big numbers. The 22-year-old Mahoney batted .307 in two levels of the farm system and emerged as a legitimate prospect. He batted .299/.358/.465 with 18 doubles, nine homers and 49 RBIs in 271 at-bats with high Class A Frederick, and .319/.378/.545 with 12 doubles, two triples, nine homers and 29 RBIs in 191 at-bats at Double-A Bowie. Mahoney, a sixth-round pick in 2007 out of Richmond, will play winter ball in Venezuela and could reach the majors by next summer.
The Orioles didn't call up lefthander Zach Britton
when rosters expanded in September, delaying his major league debut, but it shouldn't be much longer before he joins their rotation. He's a top prospect who posted a sub-3.00 ERA at two levels of the system, and he should be a runaway winner of the organization's minor league pitcher of the year award.
Britton, 22, a third-round pick in 2006 out of Weatherford (Texas) High, went 7-3, 2.48 in 15 outings with Bowie, allowing 76 hits, walking 28 and striking out 68 in 87 innings. He also earned a spot in the Futures Game. Promoted to Triple-A Norfolk, he went 3-4, 2.98 ERA in 12 games, with 23 walks and 56 strikeouts in 66 innings. Overall, he was 10-7, 2.70, and opponents batted .237 against him. Britton allowed just seven home runs in 153 innings.
Keep An Eye On:
Second baseman Ryan Adams
ended last season on Frederick's suspended list because of disciplinary reasons. He was given a clean slate this spring and took full advantage, batting .298/.365/.464 with 43 doubles, 15 homers and 68 RBIs in 530 at-bats. He batted over .300 in June, July and August, and posted a .350 average against lefthanders. A second-round pick in 2006 out of Jesuit (La.) High, Adams totaled two homers and 25 RBIs in 215 at-bats last season at Frederick. He still needs to improve defensively, but the 23-year-old is pushing to succeed Brian Roberts at second base.
• First baseman Tyler Townsend, a third-round pick in 2009 out of Florida International, was named the Carolina League's player of the week for two consecutive weeks. Townsend entered the playoffs batting .325/.395/.563 with six homers and 45 RBIs in 197 at-bats at three levels.
• The Orioles will send nine players to the Arizona Fall League, including Adams, Townsend, catcher Caleb Joseph and outfielder Xavier Avery.