As a senior at Defiance High School in 2003, Billingsley pitched in 11 games and was 6-1 with a 1.49 ERA, striking out 113 and walking only 16 in 56.0 innings. He pitched three games and went 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA for Team USA, which won the bronze medal in the 2002 IBAF World Junior Championships in Sherbrooke, Quebec and would have attended the University of South Carolina had he not signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was signed by Dodger scout Marty Lamb.
Billingsley was the first round pick (24th overall) of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft and had a signing bonus of $1,375,000.
Billingsley pitched in 2003 for Ogden of the Rookie Leagues, compiling a record of 5-4 with a 2.83 ERA. He went 7-4 with a 2.35 ERA for the Vero Beach Dodgers in Template:By before being promoted to the Double-A Jacksonville Suns where he pitched through Template:By. He was 13-6 with a 3.51 ERA for Jacksonville in 2005. He started Template:By with the Las Vegas 51s before being promoted to the Dodgers. According to Baseball America, Billingsley was the number one prospect in the Dodgers organization prior to being recalled to the major league roster in June Template:Mlby.
Billingsley made his Major League Baseball debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 15, 2006, against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park in San Diego, California. In his debut, Billingsley started on the mound, and pitched 5.1 innings and surrendered 6 hits and 2 runs while striking out three. He even knocked in two runs in his first official at-bat (Hit by pitch in his first plate appearance) to help his cause. His debut was considered a success as the Dodgers went on to defeat the Padres 7-3 (although Billingsley did not get credited with the win). Billingsley remained in the starting rotation for the rest of the season, but started Template:Mlby in the bullpen. He pitched well in relief and was returned to the starting rotation on June 21 after season ending surgery placed Jason Schmidt on the disabled list.
In Template:Mlby, Billingsley elevated to one of the top pitchers in the National League while demonstrating his potential as an ace. He finished the year with a 16-10 record, was 5th in the NL (and 9th in the majors) with 201 strikeouts, and recorded an ERA of 3.14 and a WHIP of 1.34 in 200.2 innings pitched. Billingsley pitched his first career complete game shutout against the San Francisco Giants on July 30, 2008, allowing five hits and recording eight stikeouts without allowing a walk. On September 6, Billingsley faced Arizona ace Brandon Webb and helped to hold him off long enough for a Manny Ramirez homer, and a 7-2 win, his 14th of the season. The win put the Dodgers into 1st place, a spot they would fail to relinquish for the remainder of the 2008 season.
Billingsley also started 3 postseason games for the Dodgers in 2008. In his first postseason appearance, Billingsley pitched a strong 6 2/3 innings, while allowing just one run against the Chicago Cubs. The Dodgers won the game 10-3. However in his next two starts, Billingsley wasn't nearly as effective. Lasting only 2 1/3 innings, Billingsley was torched for 8 runs (7 earned) in an 8-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 2 and 2 2/3 innings, while giving up 3 earned runs, in Game 5 of the 2008 NLCS. He received some criticism for not brushing back (i.e., pitching far inside) to Phillies batters when Dodgers hitters were knocked down several times.
On November 21, 2008, Billingsley slipped on ice outside his South Heidelberg Township home, and suffered a spiral fracture of the fibula in his left leg. However, the injury was healed by the time spring training began.
In 2009, Billingsley started well, winning his first five decisions and posted a 7 inning, 11 K performance against the San Francisco Giants on April 13. He was selected to the 2009 National League All Star Team. However, he struggled in the second half of the season and finished the year 12-11 with a 4.03 ERA in 32 starts and pitched out of the bullpen in the playoffs.
In 2010 he had a solid season, finishing 12-11 with a 3.57 ERA in 31 starts and also pitched one complete game shutout, on July 21 against the San Francisco Giants.
Wife's name is Tiffany, who he met while playing minor league ball in Vero Beach, Florida. They married in 2006 and reside near Reading, PA in the offseason.
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