The Blue Jays were driven by youth for most of the 2005 season, and two of those youngsters were recognized for their efforts on Thursday. The Jays placed two players -- Russ Adams and Gustavo Chacin -- on the Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team.
Both Adams and Chacin were unanimous nominations, and Toronto was one of just three teams with more than one player on the list. Oakland and Atlanta, which boast strongly touted player-development systems, were the other two teams.
Adams was J.P. Ricciardi's first draft choice as Toronto's general manager, and he made rapid progress through the organization before a September callup in 2004. The left-handed hitter was Toronto's shortstop from wire to wire in 2005, and he added leadoff duties as the season progressed.
Adams batted .256 with 40 extra-base hits, and he demonstrated a healthy command of the strike zone (50 walks and 57 strikeouts). His play in the field was another issue, though. Adams proved he was athletic enough to handle shortstop, but he made 26 errors, a total exceeded by just one of his Major League peers.
Chacin, on the other hand, was an unqualified success. The Venezuela native made a name for himself in 2004, when he turned his fourth tour of Double-A into an attention-grabbing season. He made his big-league debut that September and went to Spring Training as a favorite for a rotation slot.
The southpaw took hold of that spot and kept it all season, and he was the only member of Toronto's starting staff who never missed a turn. He was named the American League's Rookie of the Month twice, and he posted an ERA higher than 4.50 in just one month of the season. Chacin led Toronto in starts (34), wins (13) and strikeouts (121).
The Topps Major League Rookie All-Star team began in 1959. Each Rookie All-Star's 2006 Topps trading card will feature a trophy.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.