Adam Burton (Hollywood)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 175 lb.
Adam Burton played three years in the minor leagues, but was a long-time star in his native Australia and on the international stage.
Burton was on the Australian junior team that won bronze at the World Youth Series. In 1989-1990, the 17-year-old was one of the players on the initial Waverley Reds team, hitting .300/.364/.450 with 7 runs in 7 games in the first Australian Baseball League season. In 1990-1991, Burton batted .200/.294/.200 in 6 games for the Reds.
Burton came to the US in 1992 with the GCL Orioles and hit .176/~.264/.269 in 37 games. He struck out in 29 of 102 AB. He did steal successfully in 9 of 11 attempts. In the 1992-1993 Australian Baseball League, Adam hit only .077/.200/.077 for Waverley. Now in the Atlanta Braves system, he played short and third for the Idaho Falls Braves and batted .262/~.392/.515. He stole 19 bases in 24 tries and led the team in home runs (9), walks (43) and strikeouts (75 in 202 AB). He was one double shy of the Pioneer League lead, having hit 17 and tied for 7th in the league in homers. Burton was named to the league All-Star team at third base. Despite his performance, he was let go by Atlanta. The only statistical problem seems to have been his propensity to strike out; Burton was also a bit old for the level, but his statistics would seem to have earned him another year at least in the US. The Flintoff & Dunn Baseball Almanac lists attitude problems as the reason but does not go into further details.
In the 1993-1994 Australian Baseball League, Burton batted .216/.281/.351. In 1994-1995, he improved under the guidance of his former manager in the US, Paul Runge. He hit .272/.394/.560 at the plate with 22 steals in 29 tries, though he fielded just .869 with 20 errors. He was 5th in the ABL in steals and third with 37 runs. He was a second-team All-Star pick in the outfield.
Burton moved to the Brisbane Bandits in 1995-1996 and produced at a whopping .402/.504/.813 clip with 36 runs in 32 games. He led the ABL in average, OBP and slugging and made the league All-Star team at 2B. He fielded .968, a vast improvement.
In 1996-1997, the 24-year-old hit .267/.353/.500 and was let go by Brisbane before the playoffs. During the 1997 Intercontinental Cup, Burton batted .382/.523/.647 with 9 walks and 12 runs in 8 games.
Burton had his best campaign in the 1997-1998 Australian Baseball League. He batted .388/.505/.861 in his first season with the Melbourne Reds and set team records in homers (21), steals (18), runs (66 in 50 games) and hits (64). He also drove home 55. He was second in the ABL in average, slugging, OBP and walks (38) - in the first three of those categories, he trailed Brendan Kingman, in the midst of the best ABL season. Burton led the league with 66 runs, was tied with Greg Jelks and Craig Stone for third in homers behind Kingman and Ronny Johnson, tied Grant McDonald for second in extra-base hits (36), was 4th in stolen bases, tied Stone for 4th in RBI and led in steal percentage (.947). He again was the All-Star 2B. In the playoffs, he hit three homers in one game against Sydney, including two in one inning.
In the 1998 Baseball World Cup, Adam hit .407/.529/.667 with 13 runs in 8 games to lead the Australian national team in OPS. His 3 steals tied for fifth in the tournament. He scored three runs in the 7th-place game to help Australia beat the Dominican Republic.
Burton hit .372/.469/.723 in 1998-1999 and paced the league in runs (39), homers (14), hits (55), batting average and slugging percentage. He was second in RBI (40), walks (26) and OBP. He was one RBI behind leader Andrew Scott, just missing out on a Triple Crown as a result. He became the only two-time batting champion in ABL annals. He was the All-Star 2B for the third time and was the unanimous pick as MVP.
Burton batted .219/.381/.281 with 9 runs and 9 walks in 9 games in the 1999 Intercontinental Cup. He was 2 for 5 with a triple, run and RBI as the leadoff man in Australia's upset of Cuba in the finale as Australia won its first Gold ever in any major international competition. He led the tournament in runs.
In the International Baseball League of Australia's debut in 1999-2000, Burton hit .305/.481/.475. He was third in slugging behind Chris Snelling and Stone and led the IBLA in runs (20), walks (20), steals (10) and OBP. He was the All-Star second baseman.
Burton returned to the USA in 2000 with the Catskill Cougars; he was one of several Australians on the independent league team, joining Jelks, Gavin Fingleson and Kingman. He hit .290 with 16 runs and 15 RBI in 69 AB but did not return to the US again.
In the 2001 Baseball World Cup, Burton was strictly a designated hitter due to injuries. He hit .462/.529/.615, though, to lead the Aussies. Had he qualified, he would have tied Jenry Roa for second in the tournament in average behind Luis Ulacia.
Burton returned for one last season of Australian baseball in the 2002 Claxton Shield, hitting .385/.407/.577 with 4 steals and six runs in six games for the Victoria Aces. He retired following that year.
Overall, Burton hit .312/.439/.604 in 11 seasons in Australian leagues. Through 2006-2007, he ranked 10th in Australian history in average, 5th in runs (277), 11th in RBI (217), 6th in home runs (74), 9th in total bases (608), 4th in slugging (behind Dave Nilsson, Jelks and Tony Adamson), third in OBP (behind Nilsson and Jelks), 6th in walks (182), third in stolen bases (95) and first in steal percentage (.880, .15 ahead of Curtis Goodwin).