Friday, February 20, 2015

Meet a Prospect: Jared Burton

Jared Burton signed a minor league deal with the New York Yankees after spending much of his career setting up and closing for the Minnesota Twins and Cincinnati Reds. Burton has an invitation to Spring Training camp this season and will look to latch on to the Yankees overly crowded bullpen with a strong camp so now is a better time as any to get to know the soon to be 34 year old RHP. This is Meet a Prospect, the Jared Burton Edition.

Levi Jared Burton was born on June 2, 1981 in Westminster, South Carolina where he attended West-Oak High School. Burton spent his college years attending Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina where he caught the attention of the Oakland Athletics who drafted him in the eighth round of the 2002 MLB First Year Player’s Draft. Burton spent five seasons in the A’s farm system before being eligible for and picked up in the Rule 5 Draft by the Cincinnati Reds.

Burton made his major league debut with the Reds on April 4, 2007 pitching one third on an inning while walking three batters. Four days later he found himself on the disabled list with a strained hamstring which was the icing on the cake to his miserable beginning as a major league player. Burton spent more time on the disabled list on July 19, 2008 when he suffered from a strained muscle in his chest which also led to a setback in August that cost him another two full weeks. Burton spent more time on the disabled list in 2009, he began the 2011 season on the DL with shoulder inflammation and ended his Reds tenure after the 2011 season before latching on with the Minnesota Twins.

Burton latched on with Minnesota for the 2012 season after signing a minor league deal and impressing the team with a strong spring beating out now potential teammate Scott Baker for a spot. Burton made the roster out of Opening Day and went on to appear in 64 games that season posting a 3-2 record with a 2.18 ERA and 55 strikeouts, definitely his break out season. Burton’s ERA rose a bit in 2013 to a respectable 3.82 but his record fell to a miserable 2-9 mark in 71 games for Minnesota. Burton’s ERA continued to climb in 2014 and his fastball velocity continued to dip, now below 92 MPH, which led him to becoming a free agent this offseason.

New York signed Burton to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training as the RHP tries to find a way into a very deep and extremely crowded Yankees bullpen. Good luck to you Jared and pitchers and catchers report TODAY to the Yankees complex in Tampa. The mission starts here. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)