Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Mike Piazza And The Unexpected Draft Gems

Tom Singer of posted a cool article this evening that referenced our own Mike Piazza when considering gems taken at the bottom of the draft:

And, so, we at would like to unofficially introduce an annual honor to be presented to the lowest-ranked player appearing in the Majors, the Mike Piazza Award.

The name on the trophy -- which thus far this season belongs to Angels reserve catcher Bobby Wilson -- is a natural, dedicated to the catcher who went from being pick No. 1,390 in 1988 to very likely a Hall of Fame career.

Piazza is not the lowest draftee ever to make the big leagues. Not even close: Scott Seabol, pick No. 1,718 in 1996, made the Yankees' 2001 Opening Day roster. But Piazza achieved the greatest career from the south side of the Draft.

Piazza's entry will be an enduring legend, on a par with the Red Sox's trade of Babe Ruth and the Pirates' hijacking of Roberto Clemente out of Brooklyn's farm system. Just about everyone else had gone home by the time the Dodgers -- as a courtesy to manager Tom Lasorda, the Pennsylvania native's godfather -- selected Piazza with their 62nd and final pick.

Merely an honorary choice? Really? Put it this way: The White Sox took Carey Schueler, the softball-playing daughter of general manager Ron Schueler, with their 43rd-round pick in 1993.

Yet, four years after being drafted, Piazza was behind the plate in Chavez Ravine. That's the kind of swift ascent that can give you a nosebleed. And infuse others with that can-do attitude.

The article goes on to describe other former Dodgers who exceeded despite low draft positions, including Orlando Hudson among others.


Fred's Brim said...

I went undrafted again this year, but I had my phone off all day yesterday so who knows

Jason said...

I was drafted yesterday. Or, at least my beer was.