Britton vs. Bautista (updated twice)

The Orioles are back home tonight to begin a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays, and left-hander Zach Britton will make his 12th major league start.

Remember when Britton was supposed to spend at least 20 days in the minors?

Britton has allowed three runs or fewer in nine of his 11 starts, but he gave up a career-high six runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings in his most recent outing in Oakland.

He might want to pitch around a former Oriole.

Jose Bautista was named the American League’s Player of the Month for May after batting .360 with four doubles, 11 homers and 23 RBIs in 23 games.

Bautista has led the league in home runs for five straight months dating back to July 2010. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last player to lead a league in homers, outright or tied, for five consecutive months was Jimmie Foxx from June 1933 to April 1934.

Bautista currently leads the majors with 20 homers. Britton needs to proceed with caution.

Since Britton is pitching and the First-Year Player Draft begins on Monday, I’ll tie together two thoughts and give you the Orioles first 10 selections in the 2006 draft.

Britton and I discussed this draft at his locker during the last homestand. He’s aware that the Billy Rowell pick infuriates fans here, though Rowell was viewed by many scouts as the top high school hitter. He also enjoyed reciting a few other prep selections that year, and mentioned a certain right-hander from Clemson University.

1 (9) Billy Rowell 3B Bishop Eustace Prep
S (32) Pedro Beato RHP St. Petersburg JC
2 (58) Ryan Adams SS Jesuit HS
3 (85) Zach Britton LHP Weatherford HS
4 (115) Blake Davis SS Cal-State Fullerton
5 (145) Tyler Henson SS Tuttle HS
6 (175) Jason Berken RHP Clemson University
7 (205) Joshua Tamba RHP Cypress College JC
8 (235) Jedidiah Stephen SS Ohio State Univ.
9 (265) Brett Bordes LHP Arizona St. Univ.
10 (295) Emeel Salem OF Univ. of Alabama Birmingham

In the 26th round, the Orioles selected outfielder Kipp Schutz from Harrison High School in Evansville, Ind. They took pitcher Patrick Egan of Quinnipiac College in the 36th round.

I won’t be at Camden Yards tonight to watch Britton pitch. I’ll be marked absent at a home game for one of the very few times, and I blame my daughter. You’d think that she’d pick a road trip to graduate from high school.

Update: Thanks for all the kind words in the comments about my daughter. Much appreciated.

She just hired Scott Boras, so whatever she chooses to do in the future, it’s going to cost me.

Bautista isn’t exactly an overnight success. Here’s the winding, bumpy path that led him to the Blue Jays:

* June 5, 2000: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 20th round of the 2000 amateur draft. Player signed May 19, 2001.

* December 15, 2003: Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2003 rule 5 draft.

* June 3, 2004: Selected off waivers by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays from the Baltimore Orioles.

* June 28, 2004: Purchased by the Kansas City Royals from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

* July 30, 2004: Traded by the Kansas City Royals to the New York Mets for Justin Huber.

* July 30, 2004: Traded by the New York Mets with Matt Peterson (minors) and Ty Wigginton to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Kris Benson and Jeff Keppinger.

* August 21, 2008: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later. The Toronto Blue Jays sent Robinzon Diaz (August 25, 2008) to the Pittsburgh Pirates to complete the trade.

Update II: Matt Hobgood just tweeted the following (@Matt_Hobgood48): “Pretty pumped to throw my first live BP tomorrow. Going to be good to get back on the mound against hitters”

Hobgood has been rehabbing a strained rotator cuff.

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