Two O's on list of MLB's top 50 prospects

The Orioles have two of baseball's top 24 prospects, according to MLB.com.

In announcing its top 50 prospects last night, MLB.com named left-handed pitcher Zach Britton as the game's 19th best prospect and rated shortstop Manny Machado as the 24th.

Britton, who turned 23 on Dec. 22, went 10-7 with a 2.70 ERA in 26 starts last year between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. The lefty, who was added to the O's 40-man roster in November, gave up two earned runs or fewer in 21 of 26 starts.

He was named the 2010 O's minor league pitcher of the year. A third-round pick in 2006, Britton was the 2009 Carolina League pitcher of the year.

Machado was the third overall pick in the last summer's draft and signed for a $5.25 million bonus.

Late last year, the 18-year-old, right-handed hitter got into nine games in the minors and hit .306-1-5. He batted .345 in seven games with Single-A Aberdeen.

Kansas City led all clubs with six players among the top 50 prospects, while four teams - the Mets, Marlins, Brewers and A's - had no one on the list.

Top 50 prospects on AL East clubs:
4 - Tampa Bay
3 - New York Yankees and Toronto
2 - Orioles
1 - Boston

More than 20 scouts were polled to produce the list and a player must still have rookie eligibility to qualify for this list. Brian Matusz was listed as fifth on the list last year.

Coming soon: More from a recent interview with Britton, talking about his offseason workouts and his hopes to make the O's this season.

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