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A building block for Buck Showalter

Zach Britton may be ready to start at Camden Yards now

Updated: August 16, 2010, 10:52 AM ET
By Kevin Goldstein | Baseball Prospectus

In this week's 10-pack, you'll find out about a pitcher likely to see a September call-up for Buck Showalter, an Angel blazing his path in the Midwest League after top prospect Mike Trout departed, and a 29-year-old Cuban breaking into the prospect ranks.

Zach Britton, LHP, Baltimore Orioles (Triple-A Norfolk)
Britton delivered his best Triple-A start on Saturday, when the 22-year-old southpaw struck out nine over eight innings while giving up a run on five hits. It took only 93 pitches for Britton to record his 24 outs. His timetable continues to move up, with a September audition certainly in his sights. He arguably has the best pure sinker in the minor leagues, as capable of missing bats as it is generating ground balls -- but it's the overall improvement in his command and control that have him suddenly on the verge of the big leagues.

Kolbrin Vitek, 3B, Boston Red Sox (Short-season Lowell)
Small sample sizes are a dangerous thing, and they nearly always apply to this year's draft picks, even those that sign quickly and start playing. Going into the weekend, Vitek was scuffling to the tune of .241/.333/.368, and as a player who had his share of detractors heading into the draft, some thought his stock was already down. One 9-for-13 weekend and two home runs later and he's at a much more respectable .273/.358/.422. That's how much three days can affect a line, and why one needs much more than two months of stats to properly judge a pick. As for Vitek, he can hit, but he's not a middle infielder; his play at third base has been rough and he might just need to hit enough to fit in the outfield by the time his development is over.

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