Blue Jays: Ranking the top-five Rule 5 Draft selections in franchise history

Toronto Blue Jays v Oakland Athletics
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No. 2 INF/OF Kelly Gruber

Another player with an Indians-Blue Jays connection, Gruber was selected by the Jays from Cleveland in the 1983 Rule 5 Draft. He, like Upshaw, took a little bit of time to become a full-time player but once he did, he did not look back.

After first finding his footing in 1988, Gruber played in 158 games that season, hitting 33 doubles, 16 home runs and driving in 81 along the way. He also stole 23 bases and had an impressive OPS+ of 113. The following year, he not only hit the first cycle in Blue Jays history, but he also made his first-career All-Star Game.

The 1990 campaign ultimately went down as Gruber's best in the big leagues, as he rode a 36 double, 31 homer, 118 RBI season to another All-Star Game, a Silver Slugger Award, a Gold Glove and an impressive fourth-place finish in AL MVP voting that year.

Despite the fact that he struggled mightily during the 1992 regular season, Gruber made the postseason roster that year and ultimately won his first World Series championship. He was involved in a controversial but historical game during the World Series in which he appeared to tag Deion Sanders out at third, securing a triple play, but one of the umpires rule Sanders safe even though he was clearly out.

Some how, Gruber tore his rotator cuff on that play but he still managed to come up to bat later in the contest and hit a crucial game-tying home run which helped the Jays come back and win it in walkoff fashion. His career was never the same after that injury, as he appeared in just one more short season for the Angels in 1993 before retiring. He attempted a comeback later down the line but it ultimately did not amount to anything.