From BR Bullpen
Joseph Salvatore Mazzuca
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 185 lb.
- School Northern Illinois University
- High School Holy Cross High School
 Biographical Information
Joe Mazzuca has played in the minor leagues and in Italy.
Mazzuca hit .357, stole 20 bases and slugged .587 in 2003 for Northern Illinois University. The Florida Marlins took him in the 12th round of the 2003 amateur draft. Joe hit .321/.449/.446 in 20 games for the GCL Marlins and .167/.241/.292 in 16 for the Jamestown Jammers. In 2004, Mazzuca batted .207/.350/.379 for the Greensboro Bats, playing 67 games. he stole 14 bases in 18 tries, clubbed 7 homers in 198 AB and drew 30 walks but his speed, power and patience couldn't compensate for his low average and poor defense (.822 fielding percentage at third base, his primary position). He also pitched one scoreless inning.
Mazzuca was let go by Florida and caught on in Italy, playing in Serie A2. In 2006, he made it to Serie A1, hitting .257/.333/.395 for De Angelis Rimorchi Godo while fielding .894 at shortstop. He played for Italy in the 2006 World University Championship. In 2007, Joe batted .289/.380/.422 for Godo and was 9 for 12 in steal attempts.
Joe was 3 for 9 with 2 triples and 3 walks in the 2007 European Championship as a utility man for Italy. He was a backup infielder for them in the 2007 Baseball World Cup, going 1 for 5; he subbed for Jack Santora at short, Davide Dallospedale at second and Giuseppe Mazzanti at first.
Moving to Bologna in 2008, Mazzuca produced at a .310/.413/.437 rate as the club's main second sacker. He stole 10 bases in 13 tries. He was 2 for 12 in the Matino phase of the 2009 European Cup. He was 4 for 8 with two runs, two steals, a walk and a RBI in the final phase of the Cup, leading in average. For Bologna in '09, he hit .275/.380/.481 with 28 runs and 27 RBI in 37 games. His 6 home runs tied Mazzanti and Carlos Duran for 5th in the Italian Baseball League (Serie A1 having been renamed). He was just 4 for 31 (albeit with 7 walks) in the semifinals then went 7 for 23 with two doubles and 5 RBI in the Italian Series (though he also made four errors in five games) as Bologna beat T&A San Marino 4 games to 1 for the title. In the 2009 Baseball World Cup, he was 1 for 8 with three walks and two errors, backing up Dean Rovinelli at 1B. His only hit was off Yosuke Okamoto.
In the 2010 European Cup, he was 4 for 18 with a double, run, walk and four RBI but three errors in 15 chances for Bologna in round one, playing mainly 3B. In the finals (won by Bologna), he was replaced at 3B by Eddy Garabito. In the 2010 Italian Baseball League, he hit .252/.346/.394 with 13 doubles but fielded only .884 at the hot corner. He tied Olmo Rosario for third in the loop in two-baggers. In the 2010 Italian Series, he played seven error-free games and came up with some big hits but hit .208/.375/.375 with 4 runs and 4 RBI overall and Bologna fell to Parma. In the 2010 European Championship, he went 3 for 12 in a part-time role; he was 0 for 2 as the starting DH in the Gold Medal game before being replaced by Lorenzo Avagnina but the Italians still won the title over the Dutch national team. He remained with Italy for the 2010 Intercontinental Cup (his last appearance for an Italian team through 2013), going 2 for 3 with a walk, run and a RBI as a backup to Alex Sambucci at 1B. He did not play in the Bronze Medal game as Italy beat host Taiwan for their first medal in a global baseball tournament.
The Illinois native slumped to .245/.362/.302 with no homers in 42 games for Bologna in 2011; he fielded .917 at third and did score 29 runs. He also did very well in round one of the 2011 European Cup: .417/.500/.667, 4 2B, 8 RBI in 5 G (albeit with four errors). He led the Amsterdam pool in RBI and total bases (16) while being second to Juan Salazar in slugging and to William Domero in doubles. Jesus Matos was named MVP of the pool. In the finals, he was 0 for 3 with two walks.
Moving to T&A San Marino for the 2012 campaign, he hit .278/.410/.507 with 12 doubles, 7 dingers, 35 runs, 26 RBI and 24 walks in 42 games while fielding .928 at 3B. He tied for 9th in the league in doubles, tied Mario Chiarini for third in home runs (behind Danilo Sánchez and Osman Marval), tied G.G. Sato and Avagnina for 7th in runs, tied Sánchez and Renato Imperiali for 6th in walks. He did not win All-Star honors at 3B as Mazzanti was picked. He struggled in the 2012 Italian Series - 3 for 23, 2B, BB, 1 R, 0 RBI, 5 E in 6 G - but San Marino still beat Telemarket Rimini.
Mazzuca hit .252/.354/.414 for San Marino in 2013 and moved to first base as the season progressed. In the 2013 European Cup, he performed very well (8 for 17, 4 R, RBI, 4 BB, 2 SB, 2 E) but San Marino lost out to his old Bologna club. They did better in the 2013 Italian Series, beating Rimini 4 games to 1. Mazzuca spent the Series at 1B with Giovanni Pantaleoni manning third and Joe did well (6 for 16, 5 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 3 2B, 1 HR, 0 E). His sacrifice fly off Yorman Bazardo scored San Marino's first run of the Series and his homer off Enorbel Marquez scored the first run in the deciding game. He led the Series in runs and RBI but lost the Series MVP to Jim Magrane, who was the pitching star.
He was 4 for 20 with a walk, two runs and a RBI in round one of the 2014 European Cup but San Marino advanced to the finals, where he went 4 for 11 with a double, homer, three runs and three RBI in three games to power San Marino past Rimini. He was named the Cup finals MVP.