Zach Britton dishes on the best hitter he’s faced

June 03, 2011 |

Yesterday’s edition of the Afternoon Drive served up an interesting and exciting cast of guests, highlighted by a conversation with Orioles rookie phenom, Zach Britton, as he promoted an upcoming event benefiting the Wounded Warriors Project.

And, of course, we talked a little baseball …..

Our conversation covered Adam Jones’ amazing catch during Wednesday’s game, the rigors of a west coast roadtrip, the butterflies experienced during the MLB draft and a commitment to winning.

However, it was my final question and Britton’s response that inspired me to reassess some of the latest rumblings we’ve heard about overrated and/or “over the hill” players.

Pointedly, I asked “who is the best hitter you’ve faced at the big league level?”

Britton qualified his answer by citing the amazing increase in talent among Major League hitters, in comparison to the lineups he faced in the minors.

Surprising to hear? Of course, not.

As for the best hitter he’s faced, Britton feels it’s Alex Rodriguez …..
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In a very brief window, A’Rod has faced the Orioles southpaw just 3 times …. and he’s 3 for 3 in those opportunities. On an optimistic note, the hits were singles.

Ironically, Alex Rodriguez highlights a current Sports Illustrated article that reveals the “Most Overrated Players In Baseball”, in accordance with a survey of current players.

Hmmm …. Britton’s response has caused me to wonder how many American League starting pitchers were polled for the SI article. Perhaps, some envious positional counterparts were personal in their choices?

On the flip side, Britton’s experience on a big league mound is limited; he hasn’t faced a handful of the American League’s lineups, yet. He has yet to throw a pitch that counts to the likes of Miguel Cabrera, Joe Mauer or Jose Bautista.

In blunt honesty, I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. Zach Britton has struck me as a humbly modest, yet fiercely competitive individual. You can hear the interview in its entirety HERE

We are appreciative of Zach’s time and generosity in spending a few moments with us, especially on a rare off day; upon returning from the west coast.

To that extent, it’s only fitting to elaborate on the primary reason for yesterday’s conversation, which emphasized on Zach’s commitment to supporting military personnel and specifically, the Wounded Warriors Project.

The Orioles will be represented by pitchers Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta during an upcoming event at the Under Armour Warehouse, where they’ll participate in assembling backpacks of gear for injured soldiers.

It’s a fitting tribute and act of fellowship, as Britton and Arrieta have active and veteran military personnel among family members. The event is scheduled for June 7th, and you can learn more about it HERE

Lip service is a cheap and easy way to suggest support for our real American heroes. Yet, Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta are selflessly committing time to help those who have made real sacrifices, and that’s a refreshing reality.
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