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Dodgers: Mike Piazza Called LA’s Best Value Draft Pick of All-Time

Piazza was drafted by the Dodgers in a round that no longer exists.

NEW YORK - CIRCA 1995: Mike Piazza #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers bats against the New York Mets during a Major League Baseball game circa 1995 at Shea Stadium in the Queens borough of New York City. Piazza played for the Dodgers in 1991-98. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

The Dodgers have had a very strong history in terms of drafting and player development with first round draft picks like Paul Konerko, Clayton Kershaw, and Walker Buehler under their belt. The picks that make or break franchises are the ones who are drafted in the late rounds of drafts.

According to MLB.com’s prospect team of Jonathan Mayo, Mike Rosenbaum, and Jim Callis, the Dodgers’ best value draft pick in their history was catcher Mike Piazza in the 62nd (!) round of the 1988 MLB Draft.

Piazza was never a highly touted draft prospect, evident by him being drafted in a draft round that no longer exists. He received zero interest from scouts out of high school and even though he showed some offensive skill in college, no teams wanted him except the Dodgers. The primary reason the Dodgers drafted him was because Tommy Lasorda, the Dodgers’ manager at the time, was the godfather of Piazza and called in a favor.

Mike Piazza is one of the greatest underdog stories in baseball history. He rode the family favor to a Hall of Fame career and became one of the best catchers in baseball history along with the likes of Roy Campanella, Johnny Bench, and Yogi Berra.

Piazza holds a rather rocky relationship with the Dodgers following a controversial feud between him and legendary broadcaster Vin Scully. He finished his career after spending a majority of his time with the Dodgers and New York Mets with 427 home runs and a 140 wRC+, amazing marks for the catcher position.

Most recently he was hired as the manager of Team Italy where he will pilot the team during the World Baseball Classic.

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 19 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

2 Comments

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  1. Piazza was one a of the best hitters I ever saw, Dodger or otherwise. When he swung and just yanked the ball out the stadium–a sight to behold.

  2. You could argue that Piazza is the greatest draft steal in the history of baseball. His trade is also one of the stupidest moves in Dodger history.

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