Jared Burton was selected in the eighth round of the 2002 draft out of Western Carolina. The big right-hander battled injuries early on in his career and didn’t reach AA for the first time until this season, when he spent the entire year with AA-Midland. He saved 24 games for A-Stockton in 2005 while posting a 2.60 ERA in 55.1 innings.
This year, Burton had a 4.14 ERA in 53 games for the Rockhounds. He struck out 66 and walked 27 in 74 innings in 2006. He also gave up less than a hit an inning (71). Burton was part of a strong Midland bullpen that included Marcus McBeth and Connor Robertson.
Burton pitched well in the recently completed Arizona Fall League, helping the Phoenix Desert Dogs win the AFL championship. He held opposing batters to a .213 average. Burton features a heavy low-90s fastball, a slider and a change-up. His change-up is his best secondary pitch. He has allowed only 19 homers in 252.1 career minor league innings. Burton was a late addition to the AFL roster after A’s prospect Dallas Braden had to withdraw due to injury.
Burton will have to remain on the Reds’ roster for the entire year or the Reds will have to offer him back to Oakland for $25,000.