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September 16, 2010

Britton, Mahoney will receive top honor

The Orioles are expected to unveil their minor league award winners during this weekend's series against the New York Yankees, but the recipients of the top two prizes won’t come as a surprise.

First baseman Joe Mahoney will receive the Brooks Robinson Award, given to the organization’s top minor league position player. Starter Zach Britton will be the winner of the Jim Palmer Award, presented to the organization’s top minor league pitcher.

Mahoney, a 23-year-old who was a sixth round selection in the 2007 draft, hit a combined .307 with 18 homers, 78 RBIs and 13 steals in 124 combined games for Single-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie.

Britton, a 22-year-old left-hander who is considered the Orioles’ top pitching prospect yet to reach the majors, went 10-7 with a 2.70 ERA in 27 outings between Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. Opponents hit just .237 off him.

Last year’s winners of the Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer awards were infielder Brandon Waring and pitcher Brian Matusz.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 10:02 AM | | Comments (10)


A 23-year old rakes in Single A? Not sure that's cause for rejoicing. Zach Britton, on the other hand, is sounding pretty sweet. It's been a tough season for some of our pitching prospects, though as you noted the past few weeks have been great for pretty much all of them. Here's to hoping it keeps up and that Zach rocks the bigs too!

Mahoney seems to be the real deal. A pretty big guy to be stealing bases.

Plus as the competition is getting tougher he is walking more, increasing power numbers without increasing his strikeout ratio and raising his batting average.

The .990 fielding percentage (same as Boog Powell's career #) isn't bad either.

Who do we try to get for first base next year: Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn, or trade for Cecil Fielder? I think the Os have gained some respect with Showalter and the winning percentage since he came on board. We should be able to land our power hitter for next year.

James, that's not really fair - he hit even better at AA than A and he's gotten better at each higher level.

I'd like to know more about this Mahoney kid. It'll be interesting to see how he does at Bowie, if not Norfolk next year. Do you think he'll be invited to spring training next year, Jeff?

Jeff Z's reply: Tough to say now before knowing who they bring in, but I'd say there is a decent shot. I'll be honest though, I thought Waring would get an invite last year and he didn't.

Britton is a big lefty with a power sinker.. Mahoney is getting better at each level plus he wants to go to winter ball to try to get experience faster..


@ James III

Mahoney did not spend the season in Single-A Delmarva. He spent the first half of the season at ADVANCED-A Frederick, and second half of the season at AA-Bowie. And Mahoney's numbers IMPROVED after his promotion to AA-Bowie. He'll likely be starting next season at AAA-Norfolk.

Mahney spent the 2nd half at Bowie. In 52 games he hit .318 with 9 HR's and 29 RBI. He got off to a very hot start and cooled a bit toward the end. I think he may have missed a week or so with injury.

Jeff - I know you don't control it, but your Captcha is out of control.

Jeff Z's reply: I've mentioned it to the powers that be, Todd. Sorry you continue to have such problems.

I saw Mahoney at Salisbury last year. I know that the O's have been disappointed in some big guys before (e.g., Young Pickering, etc). But Mahoney is more of a real athlete, not just big but mobile. If he keeps improving, we might get a pleasant surprise in a year or two...

Considering the lack of free agency talent in the right age range and position for the Orioles this coming winter, I wonder if we can get by for another year without a big time acquisition and see if some of these home grown boys can do the job for a season without a full scale revolution invasion of armed fans attacking the warehouse?

I'd like to wait until next year and plop a $300M/10Y contract right onto Albert Pujols' lap and give him the weekend - and no longer - to decide if he wants to be the first $30M man in a big way. With the assumed growing respectability of the warehouse as a place worth playing combined with the growing respectability on the field combined with the issues he seems to be having with his currect club, Prince Albert might be worth a try.

Even if the answer is no, it leaves a lot of money for other relevant talent as well as a draft pick we might have lost. No more losing picks for bums; if the fellow is not worth it, let's keep the pick. (Needless to say, Pujols is worth it).

First things first, however. This coming November, barricade the warehouse!

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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