Mar 25, 2017

New York Mets Minor League Infielder: L.J. Mazzilli (2013-2017)

Lee Louis Mazzilli Jr. was born September 6th, 1990 in Greenwich, Connecticut. Known as L.J. he has a twin sister Lacey, as well as a second sister, Jenna. As a child his mother Dani would toss baseballs at him in the yard while his father, Lee Mazzilli was still playing in his MLB career.

The six foot one, right hand hitting infielder; Mazzilli Jr. attended Greenwich High school, but found that the baseball program was not he main sport, falling behind to to lacrosse & football. Mazzilli then transferred to Iona College in New Rochelle, NY & eventually to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida in his senior year.

He then attended the University of Connecticut playing at second base for the UConn Huskies. He was offered a contract by the Minnesota Twins as a ninth round pick in his freshman year. He declined the offer & by his senior year he signed as a fourth round pick, with the New York Mets. That year he hit .354 with 29 stolen bases & 52 RBIs for the UConn Huskies.

Of course, in 2013 there was some fan fare as Lee joined the Mets organization playing for the A ball Brooklyn Cyclones. Brooklyn being the original home town of his Dad. Lee, making it a great thrill for the entire Mazzilli family. LJ Mazzilli made the New York Penn. League All Star game that year, batting .278 with 12 doubles 4 HRs & 34 RBIs in 70 games on the season. 

In 2014 he was promoted to A ball Savannah, batting .292 with 7 HRs 45 RBIs in 66 games for the sand gnats. He was promoted to A ball+ St. Lucie where he batted .312 with 4 HRs 34 RBIs in 64 games. He closed out the year with a game at AAA Las Vegas going 1-5 in the PCL playoffs.

Drama: Unfortunately in the off season, he tested positive for what MLB said was a drug  of abuse. Young Mazzilli apologized to the fans in a statement released by the Mets. 

"Unfortunately in life, you cannot go back on a bad decision that was made, and in my case, one that I very much regret. After everything my loved ones, supporters and the N.Y. Mets have given me, especially an opportunity to chase my childhood dream, I couldn't be more ashamed and sorry."

"I am fully ready to own up to my mistake and accept the repercussions from Major League Baseball. I have learned the hard way that nothing in this life is as important as being a good representative of yourself, your legacy, your family, and contributing positively to society. I am ready to move forward positively in my life and in my career."

He was banned from 50 games as a suspension. During that time he fell back on his father, Lee for support & baseball advice. In the past the young Mazzilli felt he had something to prove on his own & didn't rely on his father as much as he should have.

Quotes: “I didn’t really use my dad that much. I tried to do it on my own, and this year is a totally different approach. It was kind of an up-and-down, roller-coaster year last year for me, so this year I went to my dad and said, ‘OK, Dad, whatever you got.’

The Mazzilli's got help from Bobby Valentine, at his sports academy that off season. He returned to play five games at A Ball St. Lucie, then moved on to AA Binghamton where in 86 games he hit .263 without any HRs & 23 RBIs. He then played winter ball in the Arizona Fall League.

In 2016 he played 109 games at AA Binghamton with 4 HRs 13 doubles 36 RBIs while batting .240. The Mets then promoted him to AAA Las Vegas in August, where in 13 games he hit .240 with 5 doubles one HR & seven RBIs.

In 2017 he was invited to Mets Spring Training, wearing his fathers old uniform #13. Midway through Spring Training he was batting over .300 but then fell off & as of 3/22/17 he was hitting .182 with a HR & 4 RBIs in 22 at bats.

Family: LJ's sister Lacey was a cheerleader at UConn & has been an on air host for the A.L. New York club.

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