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From BR Bullpen
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 2", Weight 172 lb.
Pizziconi had a 1.12 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 8 innings to help Italy win the 2007 European Junior Championship; the only better hurler on the team was Luca Panerati. Pizziconi battled a shoulder injury and only threw 12 2/3 innings in Serie A2 in 2007, with a 4.97 ERA. He added 4 mph to his fastball from the junior championship until December (up to 86-87), earning him a contract with the Cincinnati Reds, who had signed Panerati earlier in the year.
Pizziconi beat Panerati to the US as the latter stayed for the 2008 European Cup and the end of high school. Matteo made his Organized Baseball debut on June 24 for the GCL Reds in a 16-4 romp over the GCL Orioles. Pizziconi pitched the 7th inning, allowing a single and two walks but then recovering with a strike out and two fly outs to avoid damage. Oddly, one of the GCL Reds' big bats that game was another European, Donald Lutz (3 for 4, 3 R, 2 RBI). He was very good in his first 12 minor league games, with a 0.46 ERA and 2-0 record. Pizziconi was 3-0 with a 0.70 ERA in 15 games that year.
Despite his 2008 performance, Pizziconi was back with the GCL Reds in 2009 instead of being promoted, posting a 2-2, 1.88 record with 10 walks in 14 1/3 IP. He had a 1.12 ERA after two pro seasons in the USA.