A Briton is defined as some coming from Great Britain. While he has a slightly different spelling and no seeming connection to the UK, the Yankees currently have Zack Britton on the roster. You might be able to guess where I’m going with this.
Britton got a bit of a taste of the UK when he played in both games of the Yankees-Red Sox series played in London back in June. He combined for one inning across two outings. He was inarguably one of the more effective pitchers of the series, allowing just one hit, two walks, and no runs in those offense-heavy games.
That’s good and all, but here’s a better question: how does he do against hitters that share names with British monarchs? After scouring the stats, here is the answer to that question you were definitely wondering.
Britton has faced batters who share an exact first name with a British monarch 36 times. That includes the likes of George Springer, James Loney, and more. He’s held them to seven hits, only one of which, a home run by Stephen Drew, went for extra bases. In total, the hitters that fit this description only put up a .619 OPS against the reliever.
However, we can expand the sample size to include other hitters. To start, let’s add in common nicknames. That allows us to add in some Johnnies (i.e. Damon), Eddies (i.e. Rosario), and Billies (i.e. Butler), as well as a Hall of Famer in Jim Thome.
While this group got him for a couple more hits, there weren’t many that went for extra bases. They went 18-for-81, but when you add their numbers to the first group, the overall OPS drops to below .600.
Not included in the initial 36 plate appearances is alternate spellings such as Steven for Stephen or Jon for John. Those players, which include Steven De Souza and Jon Jay, were solid but not great, going 3-for-13 and two walks.
Next up is those who have similar but not exact names to the English monarchs. That group is consisted of some Jonathans and also his future teammate Edwin Encarnacion. Those guys picked up some hits off him, going 9-for-33, but did so with almost no power or on base ability. They added a walk, a hit by pitch, but no extra base hits. If he knew this very scientific information, Buck Showalter might have used Britton in the 2016 AL Wild Card Game.
English may be the language spoken in Great Britain, but it’s not the only one. We can also include your Juans, Eduardos, Diegos, and others, all of which are Spanish versions of British monarch names. This group drew some walks, but was very bad on the whole, putting up a sub-.300 slugging percentage. Adding their numbers to the equation takes the overall OPS to .593.
The last group to be factored in will be those who contain one of the names within their last name. That list includes some Johnsons and also Brandon Phillips. They went just 3-for-15, all of which were singles.
If you add all of these groups together, that leaves us with the following final numbers. Players with names associated with British monarchs have gone 54-for-240 off Britton. Eight of those were doubles, and just two were home runs. Their triple slash line against him was .225/.306/.283.
So if you share a name with a British monarch of the past, turn the other way when he comes in, because Zack is your king.