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Big bat Mazzola returns to Goldeyes for second season

Winnipeg Goldeyes

12/21/2012 11:25:48 AM

WINNIPEG - Winnipeg Goldeyes manager Rick Forney announced Friday the signing of infielder/outfielder Josh Mazzola for the 2013 season.

Mazzola, 26, played in 98 games for the Goldeyes last season. He finished tied for third in the American Association with 18 home runs and fifth in slugging percentage at .541, while hitting a respectable .308. He also drove in 74 runs and had 25 doubles, which led the team in both categories. Defensively, Mazzola played in all or parts of 60 games in the outfield, 44 games at first base and 10 games at third base.

"He's a really good core outfielder and a really good first baseman," Forney said. "I imagine he will play both positions again next year. For me, that's what makes him so valuable. He's a good offensive player, that's obvious, but his ability on the defensive side to be a game changer is just as important to me."

After hitting .322 with four home runs and 27 RBI during the last month of the season to help Winnipeg clinch the American Association's wild card spot, Mazzola batted .400 with two home runs and six RBI in six playoff games and was a main catalyst to Winnipeg's first American Association Championship. Both of his home runs came in Game 2 of the divisional series against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, as the product of Santee, Calif. drove in four runs the Goldeyes 5-3 win in Fargo. Mazzola played his first four seasons of professional baseball in the San Francisco Giants organization after being signed by the Giants as a free agent out of Missouri State in 2008. He holds a career .281 batting average and has reached double digit home runs in three of his five professional seasons. He played only three games in 2010 after suffering a left shoulder injury.

Mazzola joins infielder Amos Ramon as the two players that have been signed by the Goldeyes for the 2013 season.