RALEIGH — Former Scotland High baseball star Curt Britt was selected in the 19th round of the Major League Baseball Draft on Wednesday.
Britt, a junior pitcher for N.C. State University, was picked 566th overall by the Miami Marlins. The Laurinburg native is foregoing his senior campaign to join the Marlins’ minor league system after receiving a contract offer from the team.
“I’m excited to take on the challenge and meet new friends and see new places and play at different places,” Britt said. “I’m just going to take it day by day and enjoy every moment of it and stay determined and hopefully everything will work out. I’m thankful for the opportunity the Marlins have given me so I’m going to take every bit of it, run with it, and see where it goes.”
Britt is the son of Jacque Britt and the late Tommy Britt, who coached the baseball program from 1992-2012 and served as the school’s athletic director until his passing last year. His thoughts immediately turned to his dad once he processed the exciting news.
“I know he’s up there looking down smiling and that’s what keeps me going,” Britt said. “I know he’s so proud…I’m replaying things he’s told me in the past and I’m going off that and living my life like that and what he and my mom have taught me.”
He graduated from Scotland in 2012 after a dominant senior season in which he finished 8-0 with a 0.48 ERA in 56 innings of work. The right-hander also posted a 70/8 strikeout-to-walk ratio, leading the Scots to Southeastern Conference regular-season and conference tournament championships.
Britt was named the North Carolina Baseball Coaches Association 4A Player of the Year and was selected to the 4A All-State team in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The mounting accolades attracted the attention of college and pro scouts alike, as Baseball America listed him as its No. 37 prospect in the country his senior year.
Britt chose to attend the University of South Carolina where he played for two seasons. After a rocky freshman season, he turned in a stellar sophomore campaign, improving his ERA from 5.12 to 2.35.
After his dad passed away last summer, Britt transferred to N.C. State to be closer to his mom and his sisters, Mary Taylor and Katherine. He was able to take advantage of an NCAA rule that allowed athletes to play right away if they transfer due to family hardship, and immediately became a consistent contributor in the Wolfpack’s bullpen this year.
He improved his ERA once again to 2.24, picking up three wins and two saves in 19 appearances. In 56 1/3 innings, Britt struck out 53 batters with 21 walks.
Britt says his decision to transfer was a “blessing in disguise.”
“The program, the coaches, the teammates, the friends I made and the experiences I had — I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for me this past year and it’s been an unbelievable experience that has helped me grow as a person. I hate leaving them behind but I know in the offseason I’ll be right back in Raleigh seeing all my buddies.”
Britt said he was in the middle of upgrading his phone at a Verizon store when he first heard the news that he was drafted.
“My mom told me before, ‘Are you sure you want to go get an upgrade while this is still going on’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I don’t think anything is going to happen,’” Britt said. “Sure enough, we get there and my phone is trying to backup and restore and it starts ringing off the hook.”
Britt is flying to Jupiter, Florida this weekend to join the rest of Miami’s draftees and take a physical. He will then report to the Gulf Coast League Marlins, which is Miami’s rookie affiliate, or the Batavia Muckdogs, which is the team’s Short-Season Class-A affiliate near Buffalo, New York.
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.