L. J. Mazzilli
|L. J. Mazzilli|
|New York Yankees|
|Second baseman / Shortstop|
|Born: September 6, 1990|
Lee Louis Mazzilli, Jr. (born September 6, 1990), known as L. J. Mazzilli, is an American professional baseball second baseman and shortstop. He plays in Minor League Baseball for the New York Yankees' organization. Prior to playing professionally, he played for the University of Connecticut.
Mazzilli was born in Greenwich, Connecticut. He played Little League Baseball there, and won a Little League home run derby at the age of 12. Mazzilli began his high school career at Greenwich High School, where he found that American football and lacrosse received more prominence. He transferred to Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle, New York, which has a stronger baseball program. As schools in the Northeastern United States receive less attention for baseball than schools in warmer climates, Mazzilli transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, for his senior year.
After graduating from IMG, Mazzilli enrolled at the University of Connecticut, and played college baseball for the Connecticut Huskies baseball team. The Huskies had Nick Ahmed playing shortstop, so they played Mazzilli as a second baseman. He had a .312 batting average as a freshman, and a .338 average as a sophomore. The Minnesota Twins selected Mazzilli in the ninth round, with the 280th overall selection, of the 2012 MLB draft, Believing that he should have been selected earlier in the draft, and that he was not a priority to the Twins, he did not sign, even though the Twins offered Mazzilli a signing bonus twice as large as the $130,000 recommended for the slot. Returning to Connecticut for his senior year, Mazzilli had a .354 average with 51 RBIs and 29 stolen bases.
In 2013, Mazzilli made his professional debut with the Brooklyn Cyclones of the Class A-Short Season New York–Penn League. He hit .278 in 70 games for Brooklyn, and appeared in the New York–Penn League's All-Star Game. In 2014, he began the season with the Savannah Sand Gnats of the Class A South Atlantic League (SAL). After he batted .292 with seven home runs, 45 runs batted in, and 11 stolen bases, and appeared in the SAL All-Star Game, the Mets promoted him to the St. Lucie Mets of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League in June. He also appeared in a game for the Las Vegas 51s of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League (PCL) during the PCL playoffs.
During the 2014–15 offseason, Minor League Baseball suspended Mazzilli for the first 50 games of the 2015 season for his second positive test for a "drug of abuse". He played for Binghamton in 2015 after his suspension ended, and in 2016. In August 2016, the Mets promoted Mazzilli to the Las Vegas 51s of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League.
Mazzilli's father, Lee Mazzilli has played, coached, and managed in Major League Baseball. His mother, Dani, tossed balls for L. J. to hit in their yard while Lee was with his MLB team. His sisters, Jenna and Lacey, also graduated from Connecticut. Lacey is his twin.
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- Lembo, John (June 6, 2012). "Colorado Rockies select Manatee High's Correlle Prime in 12th round: Ex-SCF ace, Cardinal Mooney player, IMG stars taken in MLB draft". Bradenton Herald. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
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- Lauterbach, Jordan (July 13, 2013). "Like father like son, L.J. Mazzilli selected by Mets 40 years later". Newsday. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
- Dell, Chris (June 16, 2013). "LJ Mazzilli to start Mets career with Brooklyn Cyclones". New York Daily News. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
- "51s grab playoff opener on game-winner from son of Mets legend". LasVegasSun.com. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
- Rubin, Adam (December 23, 2014). "L.J. Mazzilli suspended 50 games". ESPN. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
- Borges, David (August 13, 2016). "Down on the farm: Former Husky LJ Mazzilli joins Vegas clubhouse with Nutmeg flavor". New Haven Register. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
- "LJ Mazzilli Carrying A Famous Name And Hot Bat For UConn". Hartford Courant. May 6, 2011. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)