“It all seemed to make sense,” said L.J., who played college baseball for UConn. “They say everything happens for a reason, and I feel like this is where I’m meant to be right now.”
Mazzilli, a 22-year old second basemen, is the son of former Met Lee Mazzilli. Having a dad who was a professional ballplayer meant that L.J grew up around the game. As a youngster he rooted for the Mets, even when his dad was a coach for the Yankees. However L.J has fond memories of time spent around the Yankees dugout– particularly Derek Jeter:
“I would try to impress him,” he said of playing catch with Jeter. “I’d do handstands, throw the ball hard at him and throw it over his head.”
L.J grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, and would eventually attend the University of Connecticut. He would hit .340 with 21 homeruns and 139 RBI in his career as a Husky, including a senior season that saw him hit .354 with 6 homers.
On the field, Mazzilli doesn’t flash any plus tools. He’s not going to be the type of player who jumps out at you when you go to a game. He does, however, do everything fairly well. L.J has an advanced approach at the plate, with a compact, contact oriented swing. It’s a line drive swing, but Mazzilli is a strong kid who could develop average power. Defensively he’s a solid-average second baseman. He’s got good range and a solid arm, but his actions can get very mechanical and stiff. His speed probably grades out at average, but he’s a smart baserunner who can swipe a bag by using his head. Despite his overall lack of plus tools, Mazzilli has a high likelyhood of reaching the majors because he’s got a high baseball IQ– although his ceiling may be a utility type.
Mazzilli, like his father, is an easy player to root for. He plays the game the right way, and he always gives it his all. I think that while he may not ever be a star, or even a starting caliber player, L.J can be a valuable asset to an organization. He sets a good example for other players, and will probably play well in spurts at the next level.