The Red Report: Jared Burton

Jared Burton

#51 / Pitcher / Cincinnati Reds





Jun 02, 1981


Fast Facts:

  • Levi Jared Burton was born in Westminster, SC, where he went to West-Oak HS.  He attended Western Carolina University, which has graduated other distinguished Major Leaguers like Mark DiFelice, and... that's about it.
  • In 2002, he was drafted by the Oakland A's with their 8th round pick, the 248th overall.  It's worth noting that the A's had a pretty decent draft that year, with Burton joining Nick Swisher, Joe Blanton, Mark Teahen, Brad Ziegler, J.R. Towles, Ty Taubenheim, and Jonathan Papelbon in the A's 2002 class.  Not bad.
  • The Reds drafted O.J. King in the same round.  Yep, he never made it past Dayton.  The only other Major Leaguer the Reds drafted before Burton was picked was Joey Votto.
  • It's also worth noting that he was predominantly a starter in college, and went 7-6 in his final collegiate season, with 105 Ks in 103 innings.


  • Through the A's minor league system, he established himself as a solid performer, mixing a few starts in with lots of relief outings.
  • In 2005, he transitioned to the closer's role in A+ Stockton, where he went 4-4 with a 2.60 ERA, and 67 Ks in 55.1 innings.  He had 24 saves.
  • In 2006, he kept moving up the system, and in AA Midland put up a 4.14 ERA in 74 innings.  Solid.
  • In the 2007 Rule 5 Draft, he was selected by the Reds from the A's.  Red Reporter's reaction was fairly indifferent, but that was mostly because the other guy who was acquired at the same time completely overshadowed Burton's selection.
  • In his major league debut, he walked 3 straight Cubs in 1/3 of an inning.  Not a good start.  That was his only appearance in April, as he was sent to the DL 5 days after his debut.  Most around these parts figured it was a shrewd play by management, creating a phantom injury for him to get rehab time in the minor leagues. 
  • It's worth mentioning that the first batter he ever faced in the majors was current non-roster invitee Daryle Ward, then a Cub.  He walked him, and pinch-runner Roger Cedeno was thrown out stealing 2nd for his only out of his debut.  Oh yeah, and the third batter he walked?  Another Reds non-roster guy, Jacque Jones.

  • He finished off his first big league season by pitching 43 innings in 47 games, going 4-2 with a respectable 2.51 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, establishing himself as one of the studly young arms in the Reds bullpen.
  • Burton had another strong campaign in 2008, going 5-1 with a 3.22 ERA, and picked up his strikeout total to 58, besting the 36 he had in 2007.  He figures to be a key piece of the 2009 bullpen puzzle, and has even been mentioned as the closer of the future for the Reds.

    Organizational History

    Drafted/Signed:  8th round pick by the Oakland A's
    Signed by:  Kelly Heath
    GM when acquired by Reds:  Wayne Krivsky

    Contract Status

    MLB Service Time (as of Opening Day 2009): 2.0 years
    Current Contract Status: Pre-arbitration, renewed 2/21/09

    Career Stats

    (BBRef | FanGraphs | THT)


    Jared Burton
    50 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000


    Jared Burton
    9-3 101 0 0 0 0 101.2 84 39 33 8 37 94 2.92 1.29


    Pitch Repertoire

    Information courtesy of Josh Kalk's player cards at

    Burton relies on his cut fastball most of the time, but mixes in a 4-seam, slider, and change-up less frequently.  His fastball gets up into the low 90's, but his off-speed pitches don't offer much of a difference, with his slider and change-up topping out at 87 and 88 respectively.  He throws the cutter with such frequency that it's his go-to pitch almost all the time.  With two strikes, if he isn't throwing the cutter he likes to throw the change-up to catch the hitter off-guard, and most of the time throws the cutter with 1 strike to set it up.

    2009 Projections


    4-3 68 7 30 60 3.97 1.37
    52 4.28 1.46
    4-2 59 6 25 51 3.81 1.34
    Bill James
    2-3 45 4 20 40 4.20 1.42

    RR Projected Wins Above Replacement:  0.3


    This hot zone graph is modified for pitchers.  The notes are at the bottom, but the easy way to read it is that darker areas are areas that the pitcher pitches too most often.  And the cooler the color is, the better the hit type (from the pitcher's perspective).  So, blue is best because those are areas of low contact.  Green is next best because those are batted ball types that tend to be good for the pitcher (ground balls, pop flies).  Red is the worst because those types of hits tend to hurt the pitcher the most.  Slugging percentage is still listed as well to give you a better idea of the overall results from that zone.

    A quick note on Burton.  The Pitch FX system has a hard time identifying Burton's pitches, it appears as the overwhelming majority of his pitches are labeled as either a slider or a fastball.  I've heard several times that he throws a cutter as well, so Pitch FX appears to be missing those pitches.  Since we don't do any fancy pitch identification like Josh Kalk, we are only going by how PItch FX identified the pitches.  This is why we're only showing fastballs and sliders.

    All Pitches | vs. RHB | vs. LHB
    RHB: Fastball | Slider
    LHB: Fastball | Slider

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