Drake Britton

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John Drake Britton

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Biographical Information[edit]

Drake Britton pitched parts of two seasons with the Boston Red Sox.

Britton had a 9-2, 1.34 record as a high school junior and was an Aflac All-American. The Red Sox, behind scout Jim Robinson, took him in the 23rd round of the 2007 amateur draft. He was signed for a reported $700,000, bypassing a scholarship to Texas A&M. He was 1-2 with a 4.28 ERA for the 2008 Lowell Spinners before Tommy John surgery ended his season. He missed most of 2009 but did well once healthy, pitching for the GCL Red Sox (2 hits, 4 walks, 11 strikeouts in 7 scoreless innings) and Lowell (a run in 4 2/3 innings, 8 strikeouts). He was on a limited workload in 2010, working less than four innings per start, but was 2-3 with a 2.97 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 75 2/3 innings. He then was 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in the playoffs. Baseball America rated him Boston's #3 prospect (after Jose Iglesias and Anthony Ranaudo), the South Atlantic League's #16 prospect (between Robbie Ross and J.D. Martinez), the #97 prospect in baseball and having the best fastball in the Boston chain. Drake had an atrocious 2011 with the Salem Red Sox, going 1-13 with a 6.91 ERA. He led the Carolina League in losses, was 5th in runs allowed (81), tied T.J. House for 3rd in earned runs (75) and tied André Rienzo for second in wild pitches (16, one behind Barret Loux). He tied Stolmy Pimentel for the most losses by a Red Sox minor leaguer. 2012 was somewhat better with Salem (3-5, 5.80) and the Portland Sea Dogs (4-7, 3.72). He tied Chris Hernandez for most losses in the Red Sox farm system but was 6th with 118 strikeouts. On March 5, 2013, Britton was charged with DUI after being pulled over driving a frightening 113 mph in a 45 mph zone. He opened the 2013 season with similar minor league numbers for Portland (7-6, 3.51). He drew a loss in his debut for the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox to send his career record to 18-37.

The first-place Red Sox called up Britton when Jackie Bradley Jr. was sent down; Boston felt Britton would add another lefty option against the lefty-heavy Oakland Athletics. In his major league debut against the New York Yankees on July 20, 2013, Drake relieved Pedro Beato with two on, none out and a 4-2 deficit in the 9th. He retired Ichiro Suzuki after Luis Cruz stole third but a sacrifice fly by Robinson Cano scored Cruz. With Lyle Overbay up, Brett Gardner was caught stealing to end the inning. In 19 big league appearances, he posted a 3.86 ERA in 21 innings. He made 7 scoreless appearances as a September call up in 2014, the last time he sniffed the big leagues. Waived prior to the 2015 season, Drake was claimed and outrighted by the Chicago Cubs, spending the season in Triple A Iowa. He moved to the Detroit Tigers chain for 2016 and drew a 50 game suspension after a violation of the Major League Baseball drug policy. Effectively cooked in organized baseball by the ban, he completed his career with two seasons in the Atlantic League (2017 and 2018).

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