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Joe Jordan talks Britton and Mahoney

Orioles amateur scouting director Joe Jordan was beaming just a little bit Friday night, like a proud papa, or proud uncle anyway.

Two of his prized draftees – Zach Britton, a third-rounder in 2006, and Joe Mahoney, a sixth-rounder in 2007 – were honored by the Orioles on Friday at Camden Yards.

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Britton, who was a combined 10-7 with a 2.70 ERA in 27 combined games at Triple-A Norfolk and Double-A Bowie, was named the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

Mahoney, who hit .307 with 30 doubles, 18 homers and 78 RBIs in 124 combined games at High-A Frederick and Bowie, was named the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year.

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Mahoney wasn't on a lot of people's radar to begin the season; he wasn't listed in Baseball America's Top 30 prospects in the Orioles organization this year. But Jordan said he felt this would be Mahoney's season.

"He was my pick to click in spring training. … He has gotten into a lot better rhythm with his pre-swing routine. He has got strength. He's got unbelievable power. And this year his swing kind of came together."

What has impressed Jordan the most is an attribute not expected from a 6-foot-6 first baseman.

"The thing that Joe is that I don't think we quite realized is that he is so athletic," Jordan said. "We didn't realize he could run like he could run. We didn't realize that in spring training 2010 he would have the highest vertical jump of any minor league player that we have, and he did. Higher than (Xavier) Avery, higher than any of them, 38 ½ inches."

As for Britton, well Jordan has been a big fan of this kid since he saw him pitch at a Texas high school. But in the last year, Jordan said the 22-year-old lefty has really impressed.

"I think last year at this time, yeah, we felt like we were on. We had us a good one. But his stuff took a jump this year," Jordan said. "He added a full grade to his fastball, if not more at times. His slider improved at least a grade and he started using his changeup, so everything started coming together."

One more parting quote about Britton from the man who drafted him:

"Zach Britton is a pro. You tell him what he needs to do and he is going to do it," Jordan said. "He has always been that way. He is a dude."


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