He graduated from Franklin-Simpson High School (Kentucky) in 1999. He pitched three seasons for the University of Kentucky. He posted a 13–12 record from 2000 to 2002, and led the Southeastern Conference with 133 strikeouts in his final season, finishing with a 4.59 ERA.
Minor league careerEdit
Blanton was selected by the Oakland Athletics with the New York Yankees' first round pick (24th overall) in the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft, acquired as compensation for the loss of free agent Jason Giambi. In 2003, while pitching for the Kane County Cougars and the Midland RockHounds, he ranked second in all of minor league baseball with a combined 174 strikeouts.
The next season, Blanton helped the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats win the Pacific Coast League with an 11–8 record and a 4.19 ERA. He struck out 143 batters in 176 innings, tossing one complete game in 26 starts. At the end of the Triple-A season, he was called up to the Athletics big league roster on September 18, 2004.
Major league careerEdit
Blanton made his debut in 2004, making three appearances and pitching eight innings. He posted a 5.63 ERA, but did not get a decision in any of his games.
In 2005, Blanton joined a rotation that had lost pitchers Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson to trades. Blanton was third on the team in innings pitched, but still exceeded 200 innings in his first full season. He posted 12–12 with a 3.53 ERA in 33 starts, and his 33 starts set an Oakland rookie record for most games started which had broken the previous mark of 32 set by Matt Keough in 1978. His ERA was best among all rookies with 100 or more innings pitched. He also tied the Oakland rookie record for most wins in a season with 12. His first career complete game came as a 1–0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on April 24, 2005; he was the only rookie to post two complete games in 2005. Blanton's high loss total was attributed to poor run support, as the A's only posted six runs total in all twelve of his losses combined, while posting 62 runs in his 12 wins. Blanton was also named the American League Rookie of the Month for June, as he tied with teammate Dan Haren for the AL lead in wins and finished third in ERA in June.
In 2006, Blanton's ERA rose over a full point to 4.82 and gave up the fifth highest number of hits in the American League with 241, resulting in a .309 batting average against. However, he had four more wins than the previous year, posting a 16–12 record, striking out 107 batters and walking 58. He pitched his first career complete game shutout against the Kansas City Royals on May 31. Blanton did not pitch in the ALDS for the Athletics, but was named to the roster for the ALCS, where he pitched two innings in one appearance, allowing no hits or runs.
In 2007, Blanton, Haren, and Rich Harden briefly formed the A's second "Big Three" for the season, though Harden's season was cut short by injuries. Meanwhile, Blanton went on to post a 14–10 record in 230 innings pitched. He struck out 140 batters, walked 40, and gave up 101 earned runs, resulting in a 3.95 ERA for the year. Though Blanton's road and home records were the same (7–5), his home ERA was 2.69 compared with 5.11 on the road. He also pitched three complete games in 2007, but his first one of the season was his third career complete-game loss, on April 25. Blanton made his 100th career appearance at the end of the season, posting a 7–3 win against the Texas Rangers on September 15. At the end of the 2007 season, the A's broke up their "Big Three" yet again by trading Haren to the Diamondbacks
The new "Big Three" breakup continued when Rich Harden was traded to the Cubs in 2008. The A's completed their dealing by trading Blanton, who had posted a 5–12 record and a 4.96 ERA to the Philadelphia Phillies for second baseman Adrian Cardenas, pitcher Josh Outman, and outfielder Matthew Spencer. He had a 4–0 record with an ERA of 4.20 for the Phillies. 
In Blanton's first start for the Phillies, he pitched six innings and allowed five runs; however, he did not factor in the decision as the Phillies scored six runs off the Mets' bullpen in the ninth inning to win. On August 2, Blanton recorded his first win as a Phillie against the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 2–1 in his third Phillies start. For the season, 51% of his strikeouts were "looking", the highest percentage in the majors.
In Game 4 of the 2008 World Series, Blanton hit his first major league home run to become the 13th pitcher overall and first since Ken Holtzman in 1974 to hit a home run in a World Series game. He was also credited with the win in the Phillies' Game 4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
On January 21, 2010, the Phillies announced Joe Blanton agreed to a 3-year extension worth $24 million.
Blanton throws a low-90's fastball, along with a 12–6 curveball, a slider, and a straight changeup. His curveball is his best secondary pitch, drawing comparisons to former teammate Barry Zito's 12–6 curve.
- ↑ Joe Blanton Statistics. Baseball Cube. Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
- ↑ Joe Blanton. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
- ↑ Player Information: Biography and Career Highlights. Philadelphia Phillies. Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Joe Blanton Statistics (Minor Leagues). Baseball Reference. Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
- ↑ A's acquire Haren, two other Cardinals. ESPN (2004-12-20). Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
- ↑ 2005 Oakland Athletics Statistics. Baseball Reference. Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 2005 Career Highlighits. Philadelphia Phillies. Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
- ↑ Joe Blanton 2005 Pitching Gamelogs. Baseball Reference. Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 2006 Career Highlights. Philadelphia Phillies. Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
- ↑ 2006 Oakland Athletics Statistics. Baseball Reference. Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
- ↑ 2006 AL Championship Series. Baseball Reference. Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
- ↑ 2007 Oakland Athletics Statistics. Baseball Reference. Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 2007 Career Highlights. Philadelphia Phillies. Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
- ↑ Slusser, Susan (2007-12-15). A's trade signals start of rebuilding. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
- ↑ Cubs trade four players to A's for pitchers Harden, Gaudin. ESPN (2008-07-09). Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
- ↑ Stiglich, Joe; Bay Area News Group (2008-07-18). A's trade Blanton to Phillies for 3 prospects. San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved on 2008-07-18.
- ↑ Joe Blanton Pitching Record.
- ↑ Horan, Kevin (2008-07-22). Blanton, shaky in debut, celebrates win. Philadelphia Phillies. Retrieved on 2008-07-23.
- ↑ 2008 Major League Baseball PH/HR/Situational Hitting. Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved on 2009-08-18.
- ↑ Gonzalez, Alden (January 21, 2010). Phillies sign Blanton to $24 million extension. Phillies.MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved on 21 January 2010.
- ↑ Mandel, Ken (2008-07-21). Blanton a 'Money' move for Phillies ball. Philadelphia Phillies. Retrieved on 2008-07-22.