Monday, April 22, 2013

Unknown Heroes Pt. 28: Vaughn Eshelman

Boston has not had a lot of success in the Rule V Draft.  That is not uncommon.  There have only been a handful of players who have truly performed well for a new team in the Major Leagues after being taken in the Rule V Draft.  Most players are simply not ready for the jump straight to the Major Leagues.  Often times there is a reason a player has not been promoted to the 40 man roster.

Vaughn Eshelman is one of the most successful Rule V Draft players that Boston has picked.  Adam Stern and Lenny DiNardo are the only other two that have played for the Red Sox after being drafted and they managed to stay because they were injured and were stashed on the disabled list.  Eshelman though put in a significant amount of service time right away.

Eshelman was plucked from the Orioles system in the 1994 draft.  The left-hander then made his Major League debut for the Red Sox in 1995 and won his first three starts.  He turned in a decent 1995 season, going 6-3 in 23 games with 14 starts.  His ERA was an average 4.85.  He tended to walk almost as many as he struck out, but Boston did need a southpaw so he managed to stick around.

He came back in 1996 and had an identical record but a significantly worse 7.08 ERA.  Once again the walks were the big problem.  He played again in 1997, but it was pretty clear that he was not going to last in the Majors as he had a 3-3 record and a 6.33 ERA.

Eshelman was picked up by the Athletics off waivers after the 1997 season and was picked by the Devil Rays in the expansion draft.  But he never made it back to the Major Leagues.

I do not know why I liked Eshelman so much.  He was not really that good, but I loved getting cards of him. The card shown was only available as a mail-in offer from 1995 Ultra.  I did not get the mail-in but I found the card years later.  It was one that I sought out for quite awhile.

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