Blue Jays: All Time Drafted and Developed Starting Pitchers
#1B Roy Halladay
The Blue Jays should get bonus points for the development of Roy Halladay, why you may ask. They developed Halladay got him all the way to the majors and then reset the process as he was sent all the way back down to Single-A baseball to re-development himself.
In 1995, Halladay had finished up his High School career and was committed to the University of Arizona, however, after being selected by the Toronto Blue Jays with pick #17 he decided to sign professionally. As high school pitchers go, Halladay climbed the entirely in Rookie Ball with the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays and then went to Dunedin of Advance A ball the following season.
With Dunedin, the 19-year old posted a 15-7 record with a 2.73 ERA and it was evident he needed to be pushed more. In 1997, Halladay pitched in just seven games before the team moved him up to AAA. While his stat line doesn’t look the greatest that year as he posted a 4.77 ERA and 1.49 WHIP, Toronto had a 20-year old pitcher who was one step away from the major leagues and was at least holding his own.
The following season, the team elected to keep him in AAA Syracuse for the season and he impressed to the point the team used one of their September call-ups on Halladay. Halladay got two appearances before the end of the season and the first one has a pretty incredible fact to it.
After pitching five good innings he was taken out. The pitcher that came in relief was Dave Stieb who threw 2.2 shutout innings; this was the only time the two would ever pitch in the same game together.
Halladay made all fans take notice in his second career game when he would take a Perfect Game into the ninth inning. With two outs, pinch hitter Bobby Higginson would take the first pitch he saw over the fence for a home run. The next pitch of the game, Frank Catalanotto would line out to end the game.
After having a successful rookie season in 1999 that was split between AAA and the major leagues, Halladay would struggle mightily in 2000. Halladay struggled all season long, first starting with the team, then being sent down and recalled, but by seasons end he had posted a 10.64 ERA over 67.2 IP.
Halladay would have one of the most successful comeback s of all time and show how much grit and determination he had. The Blue Jays would decide to send Halladay all the way back to Dunedin and revamp the way he throws. Halladay would change his arm delivery angle and work through the Blue Jays system.
This time a little more speedy as he would pitch in Dunedin, Knoxville, Syracuse before finally making his way back to Toronto where he would start 16 games posting a 3.16 ERA and everything else became history after that.
Starting in 2002, Halladay became an All-Star for the first time and follow it up with five more appearances to come. He became the third Blue Jay to claim a Cy Young in 2003 when he led the league in wins, innings pitched, complete games, and shutouts. In 2005, he was leading the way to a second Cy Young Award when just past the midway point of the season he broke his leg on a line drive back to him.
Halladay would finish his Blue Jays career in second place in wins and second in WAR. He is 0.01 behind Jimmy Key and Stieb for ERA among starting pitchers. Although he goes into the Hall of Fame not wearing any team baseball hat, most fans around baseball consider him a Blue Jays Hall of Fame player.