Drake Britton Sharp Despite Struggles in AAA

Drake BrittonIn 2013, Drake Britton did something new — he pitched in relief. After being called up from AAA Pawtucket having just one start under his belt, Britton found himself thrown into a pennant race.

Considerably speaking he was effective allowing nine runs on 21 innings of work while walking seven and fanning 17.

He just missed out on a spot in the playoffs and was left off the team in favor of righty Brandon Workman. Nevertheless, expectations were high for Britton who was slated to begin 2014 in Pawtucket.
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Realistically, 2014 was a bit of a disappointment for Drake Britton. He had never pitched a full season in relief, and it showed. At first it started off well as he posted a 1.29 ERA in 10 April outings for the Paw Sox totaling 14 innings, but it was all down hill from there.

For the Paw Sox, Britton walked more than he struck out (38-37), allowed eight home runs and posted a 5.86 ERA in 45 appearances totaling 58.1 innings. His last 9.1 innings of the year were scoreless, meaning his ERA peaked at 6.98 on August 16th.

Against lefties, Britton was much more effected, but still not perfect. They hit .276 off of him while he struck out 19 and walked just 10. Righties on the other hand posed a bit of a threat hitting .350 off him while he walked 28 and fanned just 18.
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His struggles in Pawtucket seemed to have no valid explanation. Sure, his control may have not been his best, but his stuff is impressive. Topping out at 95 mph on his fastball, the stuff is there which makes the circumstances of his struggles even tougher to explain.

In 2011, Britton posted a Carolina League worst 6.91 ERA in 26 starts, losing 13 games.

Despite his struggles in AAA, Britton has pitched effectively so far in the big leagues. In seven outings totaling 6.2 innings, hitters went 5-for-23 off the southpaw while he struck out four men and walked a pair.

Command does appear to be a bit of an issue for the 25-year-old Texas native, but he  recorded twenty outs without a problem in the bigs this year so it is not too big of an issue.
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Two things are clear when it comes to Drake Britton—he has a future with the Boston Red Sox and it is in the bullpen. Next year should be significantly better for him as he may potentially win a bullpen spot with a strong campaign for the rest of this season.

Surely, Britton is slated to begin next season in Pawtucket, but he may find himself as a full-time member of the Boston Red Sox bullpen by the end of the season.

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