Found June 02, 2012 on Fox Sports:
Mike Piazza has become the symbol of big league underdogs. A 62nd-round draft choice of the Los Angeles Dodgers -- thanks to the pleading of longtime Piazza family friend Tommy Lasorda -- Piazza put together a Hall of Fame-caliber career that included 12 All-Star selections, the 1993 National League Rookie of the Year award, 10 Silver Slugger awards and seven top-10 finishes in NL MVP voting. He also is most often brought up by those wishing to preach about baseball's annual draft being more luck than skill. Piazza was too good a player to be exploited to pump life into a faulty argument. Baseball's annual draft will be held next week, and despite what naysayers may believe, there's more than luck involved in selecting the players. Take the All-Star lineup minus the DH candidates (the projected starting eight that each team submitted before spring training) and the 73 pitchers who have an ERA lower than 4.25, and it is hard to dispute the fact that the overlooked player is rare. Of those 313 players, 254 of them were draft eligible, including undrafted pitcher Brandon Beachy of Atlanta, and catchers Rod Barajas of Pittsburgh and Ryan Hanigan of the Reds. Only 13 of those players were selected in the 20th round or later, including Orlando Hudson, a 43rd-round draft choice of Toronto in 1997. Hudson is listed as the second-base candidate from San Diego, which released him earlier this month. He has since signed with the Chicago White Sox. But consider: - 109 of the players were first-round draft picks -- 42.9 percent of the draft-eligible players. - 134 were first- or second round selections -- 52.8 percent. - 209 were selected in the top 10 rounds -- 82.2 percent. And the impact of the draft is even stronger with pitchers: - 35 of the 62 draft-eligible pitchers were selected in the first round, 56.5 percent. - 38 of the pitchers were selected in the first two rounds, 61.3 percent. - 52 of the pitchers were drafted in the first 10 rounds, 83.9 percent. Beachy led the major leagues with a 1.87 earned-run average through Sunday, but 13 of the 23 lowest ERAs belong to pitchers who were first-round picks, including Chris Sale (2.30), Gio Gonzalez (2.31), Stephen Strasburg (2.35), Clayton Kershaw (2.42), David Price (2.44), Jered Weaver (2.61), Matt Cain (2.62), Lance Lynn (2.63), Justin Verlander (2.67), R.A. Dickey (2.69), Wade Miley (2.72) and Cole Hamels (2.81). Three of the seven other pitchers in the top 22 in ERA were not draft eligible, and James McDonald, an 11th-round pick of the Dodgers was the only one of the top 23 selected after the eighth round. There are 59 foreign-born players among the 313 surveyed, 18.8 percent, considerably below the 25.7 percent of the Opening Day roster spots filled by players who were not draft eligible when they originally signed. Sixteen of the 30 first baseman listed on the All-Star ballot were first-round draft choices. There were 11 second basemen and 11 third baseman picked in the first round, and 30 of the 90 outfielders were first-round picks. FINALLY! Since the beginning of expansion in 1961, the New York Mets have produced pitchers who threw more no-hitters than any other organization. It, however, wasn't until Friday, in the Mets' 51st year of competition, that a player wearing a Mets uniform tossed a no-hitter, and Johan Santana, who did the deed, was actually signed and developed by the Minnesota Twins. Six pitchers who originally signed with the Mets have combined to throw 12 no-hitters -- seven by Nolan Ryan, and one apiece for Mike Scott, Phil Humber, Tom Seaver, A.J. Burnett and Dwight Gooden. Santana's no-hitter leaves the San Diego Padres, in existence since 1969, as the only big league team to never have a pitcher throw a no-hitter. Clay Kirby came close on July 21, 1970, against the Mets, but with the Padres trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth, manager Preston Gomez pinch hit for Kirby. Jack Baldschun, who relieved Kirby, gave up three hits and two more runs in the ninth for a 3-0 loss. Gomez made a similar move as the manager of Houston when on Sept. 4, 1972, he pinch hit for Don Wilson, who had a no-hitter going but the Astros were trailing. It was not as big an issue with Wilson because he already had two no-hitters on his resume. The Houston franchise, which like the Mets came into existence in 1962, registered its first no-hitter in 1964 when the team was still known as the Colt 45s, and Ken Johnson became the only pitcher to lose a no-hitter. Cincinnati beat the Colt 45s 1-0 when Pete Rose reached base in the ninth inning on an error, advanced on a ground out and scored on another error. QUICK HITS - Colorado left fielder Carlos Gonzalez equaled a major league record when he became the 22nd player to homer in four consecutive plate appearances, three on Wednesday and his first one on Thursday. A sign of his maturing as a hitter is they came on four different pitches -- in order: change, cutter, slider and fastball. - The Dodgers went into the weekend with four of their projected eight members of the starting lineup on the disabled list -- center fielder Matt Kemp, second baseman Mark Ellis, third baseman Juan Uribe and left fielder Juan Rivera. Also on the list is lefty starter Ted Lilly. Maybe shouldn't be a total surprise the team went into Saturday having lost seven of nine, including five in a row. - No games have been delayed or postponed in Miami this year, where the Marlins are enjoying their retractable roof at Marlins Park. The grounds crew, however, did get surprised by a mid-afternoon shower on Wednesday, which hit before the roof could be closed and forced the cancellation of batting practice that night. - Tim Lincecum's winless May was the fourth winless month of his career. He also came up empty in June 2007, September 2007 and August 2010. Lincecum, however, didn't have any hangovers. In July 2007 he was 4-0 with a 1.62 ERA. He followed up that 2007 September by opening the 2008 season going 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA in April. And in September 2010 he was 5-1 with a 1.94 ERA.

Dodgers look for pitching, Lilly schedules arthrogram

The Dodgers finally have the resources to acquire additional talent, and its the year Major League Baseball has added an additional wild card team and precious few teams are out of the race and wanting to deal. And right now, it looks like the Dodgers could use an additional starting pitcher. Trainer Sue Falsone said left-hander Ted Lilly is scheduled to undergo an arthrogram on...

The Dodgers should take note: It pays to draft third basemen early

The MLB Draft is a crap shoot -- more so than any other draft in professional sports. When there's as many as 40 rounds, that's bound to happen. The Dodgers, in the Logan White era, have drafted many a pitcher. That is obviously his philosophy. There's nothing wrong with that. White's first-round draft picks since 2002 (Italics denotes Supplemental first...

Squirrel delays Rockies-Dodgers game (Video)

Your browser does not support iframes. There was a brief delay during the sixth inning of the Rockies-Dodgers game at Coors Field on Friday when a squirrel made a repeat appearance and ran around for about a minute. The squirrel first went for Dodgers starter Chris Capuano before hanging out at the feet of third base coach Rich Dauer. It eventually exited the field through the Dodgers’...

Harang tosses 6 strong innings for Dodgers

DENVER (AP) -- Aaron Harang pitched six strong innings, Bobby Abreu homered for the first time this year and the Los Angeles Dodgers ended a season-worst five-game losing streak with a 6-2 win over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday. Andre Ethier and Elian Herrera had two hits and two RBIs each and James Loney also had two hits for the Dodgers. Michael Cuddyer and Wilin Rosario had...

Dodgers 6, Rockies 2

Aaron Harang pitched six strong innings, Bobby Abreu homered for the first time this year and the Los Angeles Dodgers ended a season-worst five-game losing streak with a 6-2 win over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday. Andre Ethier and Elian Herrera had two hits and two RBIs each and James Loney also had two hits for the Dodgers. Michael Cuddyer and Wilin Rosario had RBI doubles...

Podcast: 'Dugout Blues' episode 7 -- Dodgers, Kemp, debuts, draft

In this episode, Jared and I discuss Matt Kemp reinjuring his hamstring, which will keep him out a month. We talk about the man called upon to replace him -- Alex Castellanos.We touch on the season debuts of Ralston Cash and Angelo Songco. We also spend a good portion of the podcast previewing the MLB Draft (Monday, 4 p.m., MLB Network) by giving some prospects we like and...

A.J. Ellis plays word game with Clayton Kershaw on “Between Two Palm Trees”

The debut episode of “Between Two Palm Trees” provided a GIFable moment, but this one took awkward to the next level. Your browser does not support iframes. The best thing? I didn’t know this was a series of videos, I thought it was a one-off

2012 MLB Draft: Los Angeles Dodgers Preview

Well, this got here in a hurry, huh? All of a sudden, the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft is upon us. The Los Angeles Dodgers have $5,202,800 to spend on their 11 total picks, and the team has two picks today: 18th overall and 51st overall. Mock drafts have been done all over

Tulo, Kemp fantasy replacements

If you were building a fantasy baseball roster from scratch, the following players would force your buddy to pose the question: "How'd you manage to draft all of them?" Catcher - Jonathan Lucroy 1B/DH - Travis Hafner Shortstop - Troy Tulowitzki Outfielder - Matt Kemp Outfielder - Nick Markakis Starting Pitcher - Roy Halladay Starting Pitcher - Jared Weaver ...

Squirrel runs onto field during Dodgers-Rockies game (Video)

A squirrel caused a brief delay in Friday night's game at Coors Field between the Colorado Rockies and the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers when he ran across the field in the bottom of the sixth inning. Your browser does not support iframes. The squirrel ran across the grass in between the pitcher's mound and home plate and briefly stopped in front of the Dodgers dugout...

AJ Ellis' homer not enough in Dodgers' loss

DENVER (AP) -- Alex White gave the overworked Colorado bullpen some much-needed rest, pitching shutout ball into the seventh inning Sunday as the Colorado Rockies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2. The Rockies took two of three from the NL West leaders. White (2-3) gave up two runs in the seventh and left with two outs. After reliever Rex Brothers gave up a hit, Matt Belisle retired...

Dugout Digest - the Dodgers are struggling

The Dodgers have lost five in a row, and last night was the cherry on top of that streak, a 13-3 loss to the Rockies. The first four games in the streak came to the Brewers, who came into the series in LA nine games under .500. Before last night's game, the Rockies were eight games under .500. Seriously, Dodgers? With Matt Kemp out at least a month, and the Dodgers already...

Dodgers-Phillies Preview

The Los Angeles Dodgers would appear to catch a much-needed break by avoiding a matchup with Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay on Monday night. The Dodgers, though, could use a better outing from their Cy Young Award winner, Clayton Kershaw, as they try to earn their second win in a week during the series opener against the injury-plagued Phillies. Los Angeles (33-21) matched...

Dodgers Minor League Report - 6/03/12

The Dodgers' affiliates were swept again, being outscored 40-12.
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.