John D. Burgos
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 11", Weight 170 lb.
- Born August 2, 1967 in San Juan Puerto Rico (BR minors page lists Hamacao [city is actually called Humacao]; 2009 Rangers Media Guide lists San Juan as his birthplace and Humacao as his hometown)
John Burgos pitched professionally for 19 seasons. He is a cousin of Edwin Nunez.
Burgos was picked by the Texas Rangers in the 9th round of the January phase of the 1986 amateur draft. He started his long rode in baseball in 1986 with the GCL Rangers. He went 3-3 with a 1.55 ERA, 5th-best in the Gulf Coast League and best among the loop's southpaws. His ERA was much better than teammate Kevin Brown, a fellow 1986 draftee, who finished the year in the majors, something Burgos missed out on.
John struggled in 1987, pitching for the Gastonia Rangers (0-2, 5.24) and the Butte Copper Kings (4-6, 5.60, 77 H in 63 IP). Burgos returned to Gastonia in 1988 and was much better (4-1, 2 Sv, 2.95), slightly better than teammate Wilson Alvarez on the ERA front.
John somehow moved to the St. Louis Cardinals chain following the 1988 season. He only pitched 5 games in 1989, but they were an amazing five games. He had a 3-0, 0.66 record in four starts for the Savannah Cardinals and 1-0, 0.00 in one start for the St. Petersburg Cardinals. In 1990, Burgos was 7-4 with a 3.11 ERA for St. Petersburg, earning him a promotion to the AA Arkansas Travelers, where he had a 2-3, 2.77 record.
The southpaw was 2-1 with 3 saves and a 2.75 ERA as the top hurler for the 1990-1991 Santurce Crabbers. The Philadelphia Phillies took him in the AAA phase of the 1990 Rule V Draft. He spent 1991 with the Reading Phillies (2-0, 4.70 in 15 G) and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons (1-3, 2.95 in 24 G in his AAA debut).
Burgos fell to 2-2, 6.55 with Santurce in 1991-1992. He joined his fourth organization that year, pitching four games for the California Angels affiliate, the Quad Cities River Bandits (2 R in 7 IP). He was 1-2 with a save and a 3.49 ERA for the 1992-1993 Arecibo Wolves. John's next stop was the Cincinnati Reds system. The left-hander worked 31 games for the 1993 Chattanooga Lookouts, going 2-2 with a save and a 3.56 ERA, allowing only 33 hits in 48 innings.
The veteran bounced around the Reds chain in 1994, appearing for the Charleston Wheelers (3-0, Sv, 1.27 in 8 G), the Winston-Salem Spirits (0-3, 9.55 in 5 G, 35 H in 21 2/3 IP) and the Lookouts (1-3, 3 Sv, 3.02 in 34 G). Burgos spent all of 1995 with Chattanooga, where he was 3-5 with a 2.78 ERA in 44 games, walking only 19 in 100 1/3 IP.
In the 1994-1995 Puerto Rican League, Burgos was 5-1 with 2 saves and a 2.67 ERA, one shy of the league lead in wins. Out of Organized Baseball, John split 1995 between the Mexico City Tigers (5-2, 3 Sv, a team-low 2.66) and St. Paul Saints (2-0, 2.12). He had now pitched for seven different organizations in summer baseball and at least four in winter ball; his career was only half over, though.
For his 11th year in baseball, Burgos pitched for the Yucatan Lions (4-5, Sv, 4.09 in 30 G) and the Oklahoma City 89ers (2-0, 2.57 in 7 G), a Texas Rangers affiliate. John finished his Organized Baseball career with the Two Laredos Owls (3-10, 2 Sv, 4.35) in 1998, his 10th summer organization. He then joined his 11th, the Nashua Pride, going 3-0 with a 2.35 ERA, to wrap up his US playing career.
At age 31, Burgos was not ready to call his career quits, though. He signed with Taiwan's Mercury Tigers and went 5-9 with 4 saves and a 3.15 ERA his first season in the Chinese Professional Baseball League, 1999.
In 2000, John moved to the President Lions, his 13th organization in summer league play. He went 19-5 with a 2.37 ERA, finishing 4th in the CPBL behind Mark Kiefer, Jonathan Hurst and Katsuya Oda. He was one win shy of leader Kiefer.
Burgos was even more dominant in 2001 with the Lions, going 18-4 with a 2.03 ERA. He was second in ERA to Jen-Wen Hsiao and led the league in wins (3 ahead of runner-up Cheng-Hsun Hsieh). He won the Best Nine at pitcher, the Taiwanese equivalent of a Cy Young Award. He then went 2-1 with a 2.14 ERA in the postseason to lead the Lions to a title.
Burgos faded in 2002; the old-timer was 11-12 with a 3.85 ERA, but he did pick up a Gold Glove, the only foreigner to win a postseason honor of any kind that year in the CPBL. In 2003, Burgos went 5-4 with a 2.76 ERA for the Lions.
Overall, Burgos had gone 50-52 in Organized Baseball, 5-0 in the independent leagues and 58-34 with a 2.84 ERA in Taiwan for a 113-86 composite record in summer ball.
- 1987-2005 Baseball Almanacs
- 2009 Rangers Media Guide
- Chinese Wiki Baseball
- The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics by Pedro Treto Cisneros