It is time to unveil the second member of the top 10 players once drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals, but signed elsewhere and performed well. The covered period runs from the start of the modern draft in 1965 through 1980.
Today’s honoree is Ed Halicki, who amassed a career total of 11.6 bWAR while pitching in the San Francisco Giants’ rotation from 1974-1980.
Coming out of a New Jersey high school in 1968, the 6-foot-7, 220-pounder was selected by the Cardinals in the 38th round of the draft that June. Instead, Halicki attended Monmouth College, where he was a two-way athlete, playing baseball and basketball. His 40 rebounds in one game remains a school record.
Halicki signed with the Giants after being taken with their 24th round pick in 1972. Two years later, the right-hander reached the majors and in August of 1975, he threw a no-hitter against his favorite team as a teen, the Mets.
1977 was his best season, when he went 16-12 with a 3.32 ERA and struck out 168 against 70 walks in 257 2/3 innings. The next season, Halicki ranked in the top 10 in the National League with his 2.85 ERA, but logged just nine wins in 28 starts.
Halicki dealt with injuries and declining effectiveness and became frustrated with his role, repeatedly criticizing Giants management publicly. He was placed on waivers in June 1980 and his contract sold to the California Angels, where spent the remainder of his final season. He tried to make the 1981 Phillies, but was cut in spring training. By age 30, Halicki’s playing career was over.
Over parts of seven MLB seasons, Halicki finished with a 55-66 record, a 3.62 ERA and 11.6 bWAR. He never appeared in the playoffs, though his 1978 Giants had the best chance, fading late after leading the NL West for much of the season.
Stay tuned as the final eight members of this team are named, in career bWAR order. For more details on the All-Drafted, but Unsigned Team, click here.
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