Boston Red Sox 2014 Spring Training Profile: Drake Britton
As Spring Training begins to heat up, we’ll take an in-depth look at a number of Boston Red Sox‘ top prospects who will be looking to impress John Farrell in order to make a roster spot in the major leagues. Drake Britton is one of the many promising pitchers in the Red Sox’ farm system, and the left-hander is hoping to have yet another big league stint.
As steady as Britton was in his 18 games with the Red Sox, he never made a mark significant enough to be a definite part of the team’s future. His ceiling is low, but he can still make an impact for the 2014 Red Sox. Britton was projected to be a starter throughout most of his minor league career, but he may be better suited as a reliever. However, Britton does have trouble pounding the strike zone, which is a necessity as a reliever. Nonetheless, he’s consistent and a solid innings eater.
The 24-year old has a similar delivery to Jon Lester and can throw fastballs in the mid-90s. Improving his fastball command is critical for Britton as it tends to get away from him from time to time. His slider is decent but needs work if it is going to be a consistent strikeout pitch. He’s currently developing a nice looking change-up that he throws between 83-86 MPH. It would make a nice complement to his fastball if he continues to work with it.
Britton doesn’t have much power on his breaking-balls or command on his fastball. His strikeout numbers are adequate, but he’s a contact pitcher. Batters usually ground or fly out when making contact. He displayed excellent poise in his brief stint in the majors but started to get off track in his last few games.
Off-the-field issues have been a problem for Britton. Last season he was caught driving drunk, which did a number to his reputation. However, he still managed to be a mid-season call-up.
With a plethora of talented young pitchers in Fort Myers, it is extremely vital for Britton to stand out and take advantage of his opportunities. If he comes in shows great improvement, he has a chance at a roster spot. He could be valuable long-reliever for the Red Sox or he could be a trade chip sometime during the season.