Blue Jays: Ranking the top-five Rule 5 Draft selections in franchise history
No. 3 1B Willie Upshaw
Selected by the Jays from the Yankees, Upshaw represents the first of three big boppers on the list.
He was selected in the 1977-1978 offseason but did not get a full season of playing time under his belt until 1982. That season was a decent but not great one for Upshaw, although it was only the beginning for an incredible run of five years or so for him in Toronto.
Surprisingly never an All-Star, Upshaw hit 21 home runs with 75 RBI in 1982 before having his breakout season in the bigs in 1983. That year, he played in 160 games and hit 26 doubles, seven triples, 27 home runs and drove in 104. It was also the first and ultimately only time in his career he hit over .300. His 136 OPS+ was one of the best in the league and he was able to secure an 11th-place finish in the AL MVP voting that year.
1984 saw him regress ever-so-slightly at the plate but he continued to be an offensive force, hitting raising his career high in doubles (31) and triples (nine) while hitting 19 home runs and driving in 84. Once again, he earned some AL MVP votes, this time finishing 16th in the race.
Upshaw once again declined a bit in 1985 and then really began to see his performance since in the 1996 season. He played in 155 games as a 29-year-old and managed just 15 home runs and a .244 batting average, good for an OPS+ of just 87. He was acquired by the Cleveland Indians in 1988 and after struggling once again, he decided to retire.