Here’s a name to keep in mind: Drake Britton
The 21-year-old lefty threw five shutout innings last night in Game 1 of the South Atlantic League finals as Greenville beat Lakewood 3-1. The best-of-five series continues tonight in Greenville.
You can read about the game here.
Britton missed most of last year because of Tommy John surgery after the 2008 season and the Sox brought him back carefully, holding him to 75.2 innings during the season. He had a 2.97 ERA and struck out 78 while allowing 69 hits
In two playoffs starts, he has pitched 10 more innings and allowed two runs on six hits with four walks and eight strikeouts.
He has hit 95 with his fastball this season, a great sign of how well he has bounced back from the surgery.
Britton was a 23rd round pick in the 2007 draft out of Tomball High in Texas. The Red Sox liked what they saw over the summer and dropped $700,000 to sign him.
As Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard and Felix Doubront have shown this year, the best (and most economical) way to find great pitchers is to draft them and develop them. In Britton, perhaps the Sox have another on the way.