Blue Jays: Drafted, But Not Signed All-Stars
Front End Starter
While it isn’t uncommon for a player to get drafted twice, it is rare for a player to be drafted three times, but it is nearly never a player will get drafted four times. In 1986, high school pitcher Scott Erickson was selected in the 36th Round by the New York Mets, but elected to turn them down and go to San Jose City College. He again was drafted the following year this time in the 34th Round by the Houston Astros but again decided he was going to go back to school.
Erickson finished up his two-year degree in his junior college and was named a Junior College first-team All American. The Blue Jays must have thought since he finished up his two-year junior college career they would be able to sign Erickson and selected him in the 44th round. Erickson decided to go for more education and attended the University of Arizona where he recorded an 18-3 record; leading the country in wins, innings pitched and complete games.
With a successful season, Erickson was drafted a fourth time, this time in the fourth round to the Minnesota Twins and he turned pro. Erickson climbed through the Minnesota organization quickly and was starting for the club just one year after being drafted. In his second season and just two years after being drafted Erickson finished second to Roger Clemens in AL Cy Young voting, despite recording more wins (20) and fewer losses (8).
In that season, Erickson would face the Blue Jays in the ALCS during Game 3 of the series. With the series tied 1-1, Erickson was given the ball to start at Skydome. Erickson got into some trouble in the first inning after giving up a solo home run to Joe Carter and an RBI double to Candy Maldonado (scoring John Olerud) but was able to settle in after that. Erickson pitched into the fifth inning without allowing another hit which helped the Twins come back and win 3-2. The Twins would win the next two games and eliminate the Blue Jays from the postseason.
Throughout the 1990s, Erickson was known as one of the top starting pitchers and finished with at least 13 wins seven times. Erickson also finished with 142 wins and a 24.8 WAR over his career.