Jose Rijo

The Yankees wanted a hard-throwing rookie pitcher to counter the emergence of Dwight Gooden for the rival Mets in 1984, so they rushed the 18-year-old Rijo to the ML after he had been named Florida State League MVP with a 15-5, 1.68 record in 1983. The wild young Dominican proved too raw, and was returned to the minors after winning just two games before being traded to Oakland as part of a five-player package that pried Rickey Henderson from the A’s. Rijo struggled for three seasons in Oakland, although he did strike out 16 Mariners April 16, 1986, and in December 1987 was traded to the Reds with Tim Birtsas for Dave Parker. Rijo was still only 22 when the 1988 season began, but it was his fifth year in the ML, and he finally emerged as a consistently overpowering starter, going 13-8, 2.39 for the Reds with 160 strikeouts in 162 innings.