Papelbon pitching for the Red Sox on July 20, 2011
|Philadelphia Phillies – No. 58|
November 23, 1980 |
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|July 31, 2005 for the Boston Red Sox|
(through May 17, 2013)
|Earned run average||2.30|
|Career highlights and awards|
Jonathan Robert Papelbon (//; born November 23, 1980) is an American professional baseball pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball. Before joining the Phillies, Papelbon played with the Boston Red Sox from 2005–2011.
On August 21, 2007, Papelbon recorded his 30th save of the season, becoming the first Boston pitcher to ever have two 30-save seasons. As of the 2012 season, Papelbon is Boston's franchise leader in career saves.
Early career 
High School 
Papelbon was a three-time All-City honoree while playing in high school for Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, FL. Early in his senior year, he committed to play college baseball for Mississippi State.
College: Mississippi State 
Papelbon was a closer for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. He had a 9–6 record, 13 saves, and 2.90 ERA in his three years on the team in relief. During his time at MSU, the Bulldogs appeared in the 2001 and 2003 NCAA Tournaments and won the 2001 SEC Tournament. In the summer after his freshman year, Papelbon played with the Silver Spring-Takoma Park Thunderbolts in suburban D.C. The team is a part of a wooden bat league for college players. During the subsequent summers of his college career Papelbon played for the Danville Dans, a summer baseball team located in Danville, Illinois. Soon after arriving in Danville he easily became a crowd favorite and led the team to a CICL championship. Papelbon graduated from Mississippi State in 2003.
Minor League Career (2003–2005) 
After a 13–10 record for Class-A Lowell Spinners and Sarasota Red Sox from 2003–04, Papelbon was 5–2 in 14 starts for Double-A Portland in 2005. Promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket, he went 1–2 with a 3.57 ERA in four starts, walking two and striking out 21 in 22.1 innings.
Major League career 
Boston Red Sox (2005–2011) 
Papelbon was drafted in the 4th round in 2003, a year after the Oakland Athletics picked him in the 40th round. He did not sign with Oakland because he wanted one more year in college to pitch and a chance to get to the College World Series, which his team failed to do..
Papelbon made his major league debut with the Red Sox on July 31, 2005 against the Minnesota Twins, in which he went 5⅓ innings, struck out seven batters, and issued five walks in Boston's 4–3 victory. He did not receive a decision. He earned his first major league win on September 12, 2005, pitching three scoreless innings in an extra-inning game against the Toronto Blue Jays. In two postseason appearances in 2005, he pitched four scoreless innings against the eventual World Series Champion Chicago White Sox. The Red Sox had plans of slotting Papelbon into their starting rotation prior to the regular season in 2006. However, the incumbent closer, Keith Foulke, proved to be ineffective trying to come back from an injury-plagued 2005.
In April 2006, he changed his hair to a Mohawk style, after Charlie Sheen's character Ricky Vaughn from the film Major League due to a wager with teammate Kevin Youkilis in which they bet whether he could start the season with 10 scoreless innings.
On April 5, the second game of the 2006 season, Papelbon recorded his first career save in Texas. On April 29, 2006, he set a major league record with his 10th save, against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. No rookie in major league baseball history had recorded that many saves in the month of April. In early September, Papelbon injured his shoulder. When the Red Sox were eliminated from playoff contention, he was shut down for the rest of the season to rest. The team considered using Papelbon as a starter due to his shoulder problems, but he was moved back to the bullpen before the start of the 2007 season and remained the team's closer. The 25-year-old closer finished 2006 with one of the most dominant seasons ever for a rookie reliever. Papelbon saved 35 games, struck out 75 batters in 68 innings, and held opposing batters to a .167 batting average.
On October 11, 2007, Papelbon was named the 2007 winner of the "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award." Papelbon garnered 39,043 votes out of almost 125,000 votes cast.
After the Boston Red Sox clinched the American League East title in 2007, Papelbon celebrated the victory by Irish step dancing in the middle of the Fenway Park diamond to the Dropkick Murphys' song "I'm Shipping Up to Boston", a song which he was introduced to until he left for the Phillies. Following the Red Sox American League Championship Series victory, he repeated his dance performance on the field with members of the band. For a third time, Papelbon did his dance on a flat bed truck with the World Series trophy over his head along with the Dropkick Murphys playing live during the Sox' Championship "Rolling Rally" Parade.
In late 2007 on The Dan Patrick Show, David Ortiz revealed a friendly clubhouse wager that stated that Papelbon must perform his signature celebratory dance on demand for people wearing Boston Red Sox apparel. Terms of the bet were not disclosed, but it is rumored that Ortiz wagered 20 cases of Vitamin Water against Papelbon's offer of 1 free car from The Westville Motorsports Megastore, a local dealership he endorses. In Game 2 of the World Series Papelbon was brought in with the bases empty and two outs in the eight with the Red Sox leading 2–1 to face Rockies hitter, Matt Holliday. Papelbon gave up a single to Holliday before picking him off to end the inning. Papelbon pitched a one-two-three ninth for the save.
In Game 4 of the 2007 World Series, he entered in the eighth inning to shut down the Rockies' comeback, and pitched until the ninth inning where he threw the game-winning strikeout for the Red Sox as they clinched the 2007 championship. He and catcher Jason Varitek then collided in a victory jump.
On March 6, 2008, Papelbon agreed to terms with the Red Sox for $775,000. Papelbon's deal set the record for the largest contract for a closer not eligible for salary arbitration, topping Mariano Rivera's previous record by $25,000. Boston was under no obligation to pay Papelbon more than the league minimum of $390,000. On January 20, 2009, Papelbon agreed to a one-year $6.25 million contract with the Red Sox, avoiding arbitration. This is the largest contract for a closer in his first year of arbitration eligibility. Papelbon recorded his 100th career save on July 13, 2008. Among pitchers who have thrown at least 200 innings, Jonathan Papelbon's 0.930 WHIP through 2008 is the lowest in major league history.
On June 29, 2009, Papelbon gained his 132nd save, in a 4–0 shut out against the Baltimore Orioles, tying Bob Stanley's record for most saves by a Red Sox pitcher. On July 1, Papelbon recorded his 133rd save with the Red Sox, setting a new franchise record. On July 5, 2009, Jonathan was selected to represent Boston at the 2009 All-Star Game.
Papelbon has been cited repeatedly for his slow play; on September 4, 2009 it was reported that he had been fined $5,000 for failing to deliver his first pitch within the required time in a September 1 appearance. Papelbon told the Boston Herald that he had been cited on at least five occasions and fined more than $10,000 for these violations. Papelbon jokingly added, "I think they're going to call my parole officer and put me away."
In Game 3 of the 2009 ALDS, with Boston down two games to none, Papelbon blew the save and Boston was swept. He allowed four hits, three runs, all of the runs scored with two outs. His difficulties continued into the next season. In 2010, he blew eight saves, leaving the possibility of him being traded elsewhere. The Red Sox ended up keeping Papelbon as their closer, and his productivity improved over the 2011 season. On June 7, 2011, Papelbon recorded his 200th career save, and achieved the mark in the fewest number of appearances (359), beating Mariano Rivera's mark in 382 appearances. For the 2011 season, Papelbon recorded 31 saves in 34 opportunities. He blew just 3 saves all season long, but 2 occurred during the final month of the season, including the final game of the 2011 regular season; the Red Sox and Rays tied in the standings for the AL Wild Card, and Papelbon blew a 3-2 lead against the Baltimore Orioles and allowed them a walk-off win 4-3. Just moments later, the Rays won their game against the Yankees with a walk-off home run by Evan Longoria to clinch the Wild Card, capping off a nine game comeback in the standings against Boston and officially eliminating them from the playoffs. Following the 2011 World Series, Papelbon became a free agent.
Philadelphia Phillies (2012-present) 
On November 11, 2011, Papelbon reportedly reached an agreement with the Philadelphia Phillies on a four-year, $50 million contract with a vesting option for a fifth year, bringing the total contract value to $60 million. He was signed to fill the role of former closer Ryan Madson who left to join the Reds. The deal became official on November 14. In Papelbon's first game for the Phillies, he had a perfect 9th inning to earn the save as the Phillies defeated the Pirates by a score of 1-0 on April 5, 2012. Papelbon finished the month of April with a perfect 8 saves on 8 opportunities. On May 7, Papelbon gave up a 3 run homer to Jordany Valdespin in the top of the 9th, giving the rival New York Mets a 5-2 lead. The home run was Valdespin's first major league hit. Papelbon started using Metallica's "For Whom The Bell Tolls" as he walks in from the bullpen.
Pitching style 
Papelbon's effectiveness is aided by a combination of his above-average pitch velocity and his ability to command at least three pitches. His primary pitch is a four-seam fastball with strong tailing action averaging about 95 mph. He also has a slider that he throws mainly to right-handed hitters, and a hard splitter he uses mainly on left-handed hitters. Some sources also list Papelbon as throwing a two-seam fastball.
Personal life 
Papelbon was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His mother, Sheila, played volleyball and softball at Louisiana State University. His father, John, spent time as the Deputy Director of the Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame in St. Petersburg, Florida. Jonathan is the older brother of twins Josh Papelbon, former pitcher for the Brockton Rox, and Jeremy Papelbon, former pitcher for the Tennessee Smokies, the double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.
Papelbon and his wife, Ashley Jefferies, live in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. On December 27, 2008, Ashley gave birth to the couple's first child, a daughter named Parker Alice. On April 17, 2010, Ashley gave birth to the couple's second child, a son named Gunner Robert.
He appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman on October 31, 2007, after the Red Sox won the 2007 World Series. On December 20, 2007, Papelbon claimed that his dog "Boss," chewed up the ball that recorded the final out of the 2007 World Series.
- 5x All-Star (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012)
- Holds the single-season record for most saves in a season by a Red Sox rookie (2006).
- Second in 2006 American League Rookie of the Year voting to Justin Verlander.
- First pitcher in Boston Red Sox franchise history to have three 30 save seasons.
- Holds the Major League record for most consecutive scoreless innings to start a postseason career (25).
- Only pitcher to record 25 saves in each of his first five full seasons; he has gone beyond that and recorded 30 in each of those years.
- Fastest pitcher in MLB history to reach 200 career saves.;
- MLB official player profile. Retrieved March 22, 2007.
- Kenny's Papelbon to play ball at MSU 11/10/98 Jacksonville.com
- "Jonanthan Papelbon". SoxProspects. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
- The Baseball Cube: Jon Papelbon Statistics. Retrieved March 22, 2007.
- Jonathan Papelbon Drafted By Oakland Mississippi State Bulldogs
- Shaughnessy, Dan (April 17, 2006). "Papelbon has heater, stays cool". The Boston Globe.
- At This Point, Foulke Has Lost It Hartford Courant
- Boston Herald: "A hair-raising incident: Papelbon takes wild walk on Mohawk trail." Retrieved March 22, 2007.
- He's A Super Saver Hartford Courant
- Boston Red Sox press release: "Papelbon to return as closer." Retrieved March 22, 2007.
- "Jonathan Papelbon wins "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award"" (Press release). Major League Baseball. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
- "Lord of the dance". Chicago Tribune. October 31, 2007.
- ESPN: "Red Sox re-sign Papelbon for one year, $775,000" Retrieved March 15, 2008.
- "ESPN": Jonathan Papelbon's $6.25M deal with Boston Red Sox makes history"
- MLB.com: 100th career save
- Chuck, Bill. 100 random things about the Red Sox, Rays, and Yankees, The Boston Globe. Published April 2, 2009.
- Jonathan Papelbon Grinds His Teeth Esquire
- Benjamin, Amalie (March 13, 2009). "Papelbon blasts Ramírez". The Boston Globe.
- "Baseball fines Papelbon $5,000", ESPN.com, September 4, 2009.
- Browne, Ian. "Boston at NY Yankees – 06/07/2011 | MLB.com Gameday". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
- Zolecki, Todd (November 14, 2011). "Porting alter-ego, Papelbon joins Phillies". MLB.com.
- Abraham, Peter (November 11, 2011). "Report: Papelbon agrees to deal with Phillies". The Boston Globe.
- "Phillies Sign Papelbon". MLB.com. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
- "Carlos Ruiz provides Phillies' offense; Jonathan Papelbon debuts". ESPN.com. Associated Press. 5 April 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- DiComo, Anthony (May 7, 2012). "Valdespin shocks Pap as Mets rally past Phils". MLB.com. Mets.com. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
- "PITCHf/x Player Card: Jonathan Papelbon". BrooksBaseball.net. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- "Jonathan Papelbon, Philadelphia Phillies - PITCHf/x Pitcher Profile". TexasLeaguers.com. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- Pierce, Charles P. (12 March 2006). "Rocket Redux". Boston Globe. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- Borden, Sam (6 March 2007). "Fresh start as a starter". Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- "TW MUSEUM COMES TO AID OF TILTON-NORTHFIELD BABE RUTH LEAGUE". 11 May 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- Red Sox Pitcher Jonathan Papelbon Welcomes Daughter Parker Alice Celebritybabyblog.com, December 30, 2008
- Baby comes first for Papelbon ESPN
- Papelbon thankful this holiday season MLB.com
- Associated Press article on game August 3, 2010, in which Papelbon recorded his 25th save of the year
- Red Sox 6, Yankees 4: Jon Lester continues run of success vs. Yankees MLB.com recap
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Jonathan Papelbon|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- ESPN: "Red Sox believe Papelbon is the real deal"
- Sports Illustrated: "Late & Great" by Tom Verducci
- Jonathan Papelbon Video at FoxSports Video Archive
- Jonathan Papelbon Contract Price in the Fantasy Baseball Stock Exchange