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.
Mike Piazza, 62nd round
— Green Papa (@LaFlama_Blanca_) December 6, 2019
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.