Zach Britton
Zach Britton
30-Year-Old PitcherRP
New York Yankees
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Coming off a 2016 campaign in which he converted all 47 of his save opportunities, Britton experienced a down year, with injuries playing a significant role in his struggles. He battled a lingering forearm strain, which limited him to just two appearances from Apr. 14 until July 5. He struggled with control upon his return, posting an unsightly 22:14 K:BB down the stretch. His streak of consecutive save conversions came to an end at 60. As the season was winding down, it was reported that Britton was battling a knee injury. He was ultimately shut down after being diagnosed with a sprained MCL. Rather than undergoing surgery, the lefty elected for PRP treatment. Britton then suffered a torn Achilles in late December and he is expected to miss the first three months of 2018 as a result. Brad Brach is likely to fill in as the Orioles' closer in his absence. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $12 million contract with the Orioles in January of 2018, avoiding arbitration. Traded to the Yankees in July of 2018.
Picks up sixth save
PNew York Yankees
September 18, 2018
Britton was charged with one unearned run during the ninth inning against the Red Sox on Tuesday but escaped with the save. He struck out one and walked one.
Thankfully the Yankees entered the ninth inning with a two-run cushion, so the error by Gleyber Torres didn't result in a blown save. The save was Britton's second since joining the Yankees at the July trade deadline, and the 30-year-old is likely to continue pitching primarily in a setup role with closer Aroldis Chapman (knee) set to return later this week.
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Pitching Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .212 150 35 13 28 7 0 3
Since 2016vs Right .206 411 96 40 76 10 0 2
2018vs Left .214 50 10 5 9 1 0 2
2018vs Right .217 96 18 12 18 3 0 1
2017vs Left .250 40 9 3 9 3 0 1
2017vs Right .286 121 20 15 30 2 0 0
2016vs Left .185 60 16 5 10 3 0 0
2016vs Right .155 194 58 13 28 5 0 1
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
Since 2016Home 1.39 1.08 77.2 6 1 37 8.0 3.5 0.1
Since 2016Away 2.59 1.16 62.2 0 1 30 8.9 3.3 0.6
2018Home 3.00 1.48 21.0 2 0 3 8.1 5.6 0.4
2018Away 4.20 0.87 15.0 0 0 2 5.4 2.4 1.2
2017Home 1.64 1.27 22.0 2 0 8 7.4 4.1 0.0
2017Away 4.70 1.89 15.1 0 1 7 6.5 4.7 0.6
2016Home 0.26 0.72 34.2 2 1 26 8.3 1.8 0.0
2016Away 0.84 0.96 32.1 0 0 21 11.7 3.1 0.3
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Stat Review
How does Zach Britton compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
94.9 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The last time Britton was seen on a field, it was when manager Buck Showalter was saving him for the wild card save that never happened. It is a shame that is the last memory we have of him because Britton had an amazing year building upon his stellar 2015 season. Britton continued a three-year run of dominance as a fantasy closer due to a nasty combination of high strikeouts and an incredibly high groundball rate. He has some risks for 2017 since his 0.54 ERA can realistically only go up and a low .244 BABIP may not be sustainable. The good news is that despite the wild card episode, his manager has supreme confidence in him and will use him often throughout the season. Even with ratio regression, he will still be very good across the board and is as safe as closers come.
The Orioles certainly do not regret moving Britton from the rotation to the bullpen. Britton followed up his breakout 2014 season with another excellent season as Baltimore's closer until lat and back issues nagged him a bit in September. He added one mph to his fastball velocity in 2015, and vastly improved several key ratios from 2014 to 2015. His BB/9 improvement was good (2.7 in 2014 to 1.9 in 2015); his K/9 was even better (7.3 in 2014 to 10.8 in 2015); and his groundball rate is just plain unfair (75.3% in 2014 to 79.1% in 2015). Unfortunately, his BABIP increased almost 100 points to a semi-human .308, and that negated his improvements and prevented him from improving on his ERA and WHIP. Britton will enter 2016 as the unquestioned closer and one of the best relievers in the game. He proved he is not a one-year wonder.
Britton has always had filthy stuff which earned him plenty of prospect attention, but he simply couldn't command it with any regularity as a starter. The hefty groundball rates were nice, but he didn't miss as many bats as the stuff suggested, and the contact-heavy approach yielded far too many hits and homers. The O’s decided that it might work better in short spurts and their unsettled ninth-inning situation afforded them an opportunity to try Britton out as their new Jim Johnson. He walks a few more than Johnson, but also carries a better strikeout rate. The foundation of a remarkably elite groundball rate was still there, though, and it resulted in a boatload of success for the left-hander. There is enough skepticism about Britton that you shouldn't have to pay full price for the ERA and WHIP from last year, but owning him offers some potential upside. Don’t rule out more strikeouts to compensate for a BABIP drop, which could vault him up a tier or two in the closer ranks.
Britton seems to be a shell of his former prospect self entering 2014. A good part of last season was spent on a shuttle between Baltimore and Norfolk. Neither location turned out to be a successful stop, as Britton had just a 93:63 K:BB ratio in a combined 143.1 innings. His 4.1 K/9 with the Orioles is his worst at any level since he became a pro. The good news as far as Britton is concerned is that he is out of minor league options, meaning the Orioles will have to keep him on the 25-man roster or risk losing him to another organization at the end of spring training. On the other hand, a crowded depth chart in Baltimore has put his future with the team in doubt.
Britton had some lofty expectations after showing off good stuff in his 2011 debut, but a bum shoulder caused him to miss the first month and a half. Britton's rehab lasted nearly two months and he never really regained his 2011 form. Britton had control issues, issuing 4.8 BB/9. He kept the ball on the ground with a 2.85 GB/FB ratio, but 14.3 percent of his flyballs turned into home runs. Expect Britton to compete for the last spot in the Baltimore rotation, though he will more than likely start the season at Triple-A.
Britton was one of the few pitchers in the Orioles organization to avoid utter disaster in 2011. He still ended up with a 4.61 ERA, but some of that can be pinned on his defense – his 52 percent groundball rate combined with a 5.66 K/9IP should typically produce an ERA closer to 4.00 (according to FIP). Look for the 24-year-old to continue to grow in 2012 – the next challenge is controlling the strike zone, as he needs to improve the 3.62 BB/9IP he posted as a rookie last season. Keep an eye on Britton's health throughout spring training as he was slowed by inflammation in his pitching shoulder soon after reporting to Florida.
Britton was excellent in stops at Double-A and Triple-A and things went so well the Orioles were rumored to call him up in September. He is now regarded as Baltimore's best prospect following the graduation of Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta, and scouts seem to have him pegged as a No. 3 starter in the future. Britton should compete for a rotation spot in spring training, but it is more likely the Orioles will wait until at least June to give him the call. Britton has consistently averaged a 2.21 K/BB ratio in the minors, showing good command for such a young left-handed pitcher, which should ease his eventual transition into the big leagues.
As far as Baltimore pitching prospects go, Britton has gone largely unnoticed. He had a stellar campaign in High-A (improving his strikeout rate from 6.96 K/9IP to 8.42) and should open 2010 in Double-A. He throws a low-90s sinking fastball that has kept hitters pounding the ball into the ground at his first two stops (2.81 G/F in 2008, 3.38 in 2009) along with an improving slider. Britton should arrive in early 2011 unless he gets a callup in September. All things considered, he is an interesting, but not elite, prospect. In the worst-case scenario, Britton appears to have a future as a left-handed setup man.
More Fantasy News
Collects first save
PNew York Yankees
August 24, 2018
Britton allowed one run on two hits in the 10th inning as he notched the save Friday against the Orioles.
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Part of temporary closer committee
PNew York Yankees
August 22, 2018
Britton, David Robertson (shoulder) and Dellin Betances are expected to share closing duties while Aroldis Chapman remains sidelined with a knee injury, Jack Curry of YES Network reports.
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To join Yankees on Thursday
PNew York Yankees
July 25, 2018
Britton will join the Yankees back in New York prior to Thursday's series opener against the Royals, Erik Boland of Newsday Sports reports.
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Officially acquired by Yankees
PNew York Yankees
July 24, 2018
The Yankees officially acquired Britton from the Orioles in exchange for minor-league pitchers Dillon Tate, Josh Rogers and Cody Carroll.
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Traded to Yankees pending medicals
PBaltimore Orioles
July 24, 2018
The Yankees have reached an agreement to acquire Britton from the Orioles for three minor-league pitchers, pending medical examinations, Jon Heyman of reports.
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