- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 240 lb.
Giuseppe Mazzanti has played for the Italian national team in several events, including the 2004 Olympics. After a year in the minor leagues, he has played in Italy, winning three MVP awards. His cousin Leonardo Mazzanti has also played for the Italian national team.
Mazzanti debuted in Serie A1 in 1999 with Caffe Danesi Nettuno, hitting .313/.353/.313 in 7 games. He would not play again in Serie A1 for five years. In 2001, he was on the Junior European Championship team for Italy.
Mazzanti signed with the Seattle Mariners and was a corner infielder for the 2002 AZL Mariners, hitting .203/.284/.331. His three homers tied for third on the club but he struck out in 40 of 116 AB. The infielder was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts for the Italian team in the 2003 Baseball World Cup, his debut with the senior national team. He also made two errors in three chances at third base while backing up Igor Schiavetti.
Mazzanti batted .257/.364/.429 with 34 runs and 37 RBI in 2004 for Caffe Danesi Nettuno, back in Serie A1. The 21-year-old hit .313/.316/.375 as Italy's main third baseman in the 2004 Olympics and was error-free. He led the team's starting position players in average.
Mazzanti produced at a .387/.483/.547 clip in just 22 games in Serie A1 in 2005. In 2006, he slipped to .244/.333/.360 in 48 contests. That year, he was with Italy for the 2006 Intercontinental Cup, he batted .273/.429/.424 and tied for the team lead with 9 RBI. He again struggled defensively, with a .810 fielding percentage at the hot corner. He played a couple games at first, flipping positions with Alex Liddi, who had followed Mazzanti to the Mariners farm system. Mazzanti tied for 4th in the Cup in RBI, even with Frederich Cepeda, Yung-Chi Chen, Ivanon Coffie, Gino Lollio and Ariel Pestano.
Mazzanti became a star in Serie A1 in 2007. He hit .345/.472/.592 for Nettuno. He was second to Maximiliano De Biase in average, led in OBP, led in slugging, led in OPS by 87 points over the runner-up, led in doubles (18) and tied for 5th in home runs (5). Mazzanti was honored as the top Italian hitter by claiming the Max Ott Award for 2007. In voting at www.baseball.it, he won the nod as the All-Star third baseman as well. He capped the awards by winning MVP. He kept it up in the 2007 European Championship, hitting .522/.593/.696 and leading the Italian team in average, OBP and slugging and tying Laidel Chapellí for the most runs (7). He again played first when Liddi was at third and third base when Liddi manned first.
Mazzanti remained with Italy for the 2007 Baseball World Cup and batted .095/.174/.143 as one of two Italian starters to perform very poorly; Chapellí was his rival for the team's big disappointment at the plate.
Mazzanti was the top hitter in the 2008 European Cup in Regensburg, batting .500/.636/1.214 for second-place Nettuno. He had 7 runs, 7 RBI, 7 walks, 4 doubles and 2 home runs in five games. He was the key performer in their upset over DOOR Neptunus in the semifinals, with a double, homer, two runs and two RBI. He tied Raily Legito for the Cup lead in doubles, tied four others for the lead in home runs, was one RBI behind leader Eugene Kingsale and tied for the most total bases (17). He was only 1 for 7 in the 2008 European Cup Final Four that fall but Nettuno won the title.
In the 2008 Italian Baseball League, Mazzanti hit .392/.516/.574. He led the league in average (.012 ahead of Willie Vasquez), OBP (.010 over Claudio Liverziani) and was third in slugging. He won MVP honors. The next native Italian to win would be Alessandro Vaglio in 2013.
At first for Italy in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, he hit .385/.385/.538; only Chris Denorfia had a better slugging percentage and average for Italy and his 5 hits led the team, outperforming their numerous Italian-American ringers like Francisco Cervelli, Frank Catalanotto, Nick Punto, Val Pascucci and Mike Costanzo. He hit .389/.500/.389 in the 2009 European Cup's Nettuno phase with 6 runs in five games. In the Cup's Final Four, he was two for four with five walks, a double, a homer, 2 runs and 4 RBI. His 3-run homer off Michiel van Kampen powered Nettuno to a 6-4 win over Kinheim; in the finale, he had the game's lone run, drawing a walk from Yulman Ribeiro, taking two bases on a botched pickoff throw from Matt Stocco, then coming home on a Manuel Gasparri single. He led the Final Four in runs, RBI, total bases, walks and homers (tied with Danny Rombley). He hit .268/.441/.488 in Italy in 2009, with 37 walks, 28 runs, 33 RBI and six home runs in 40 games. He tied Liverziani for 5th in RBI, tied Joe Mazzuca and Carlos Duran for 5th in home runs, tied for 9th in doubles (10), was second in walks (4 behind Liverziani), ranked 9th in slugging, was 6th in OBP and was 7th in OPS (between Mario Chiarini and Dewis Navarro).
In 2010, he slumped to .240/.331/.326 in the Italian Baseball League. He turned it around for the 2010 European Championship, though, batting .324/.432/.784 with 13 runs, 15 RBI and 5 homers in 9 games while playing perfect defense. He hit a grand slam (off Tim Karkatselos) and a solo homer (off Peter Maestrales) in a win over Greece, a three-run jack off Croatia's Marin Farkas and a long ball off Joakim Claesson of the Swedish national team (in a 3-2 upset loss). In the Gold Medal game, a 8-4 win over the Netherlands for the first Italian European Championship title in 13 years, he hit a two-run double off Diegomar Markwell in the first and then took Leon Boyd deep in the 6th. He won European Championship MVP for his efforts; the last Italian team player to win had been Daniel Newman (1999) and the last native Italian had been Guglielmo Trinci in 1991.
Mazzanti produced at a .269/.418/.395 clip with 30 walks in 37 games in the 2011 regular season, tying Willie Vasquez for third in the IBL in walks and tying for 9th with four homers. He was named the league All-Star 3B. In the 2011 Italian Series, he hit .276/.400/.379 in a losing cause as Nettuno fell to T&A San Marino in 7 games. He scored 8 runs, tying Juan Camilo for second in the Series, two behind Jairo Ramos Gizzi. In the 2011 Baseball World Cup, he hit .292/.400/.542 with 7 RBI as Italy's first baseman (Giovanni Pantaleoni manned third). He drove in 3 and fell a double shy of the cycle in a 6-2 win over Nicaragua (homering off Elvin Orozco in the 1st) and drove in four in a 7-6, 10-inning loss to Venezuela (going yard off Jorge Guzman and delivering a two-run single off Gabriel Alfaro to go up 6-4 in the top of the 10th). He led Italy in slugging (.004 over Chiarini) and RBI (one over Ramos Gizzi) and was second to Chiarini in OBP.
In 2012, Mazzanti had his best performance in several years - .326/.467/.473, 14 2B, 31 BB in 40 G. He tied for 5th in doubles, led in walks (four more than Mark Castellitto), led in OBP (.016 ahead of Danilo Sanchez) and was 4th in OPS (between Chiarini and Mazzuca). He was named the All-Star third baseman. He hit .238/.448/.286 with 5 runs and two RBI in 7 games in the 2012 European Cup as Nettuno finished second.
Italy went to a split-season format in 2013 and Mazzanti hit .289/.378/.458 in the first half and .342/.434/.508 in the second. Due to the split season, it is hard to gauge leaderboards. He was named the All-Star third baseman that year. He was left off Italy's 2013 World Baseball Classic roster. In 2014, he moved to ASD Rimini and hit .293/.453/.439 in the first half, .250/.365/.423 in the second half and .269/.345/.615 in the 2014 Italian Series. He went deep three times in the Italian Series to lead all players and his six RBI led Rimini (Guillermo Rodriguez and Marco Sabbatani had more for the victors). Two of his homers came off Joey Williamson, who had a 1.01 regular season ERA, and the other was off another import hurler, Salomon Marinez.
The veteran batted .263/.318/.421 with 7 runs and six RBI in five games in the 2015 European Cup. He tied Stijn van der Meer for second in the Rotterdam phase in runs (3 behind Dwayne Kemp) and tied Christian Diaz for 4th in RBI. He excelled in Italy in 2015, with a batting line of .326/.428/.519 with 31 RBI in 38 games between the two halves (.367/.474/.683 in the second half!). He was 4th in average (between Ennio Retrosi and Alessandro Vaglio), led in slugging (.019 over Cesar Suarez), was 7th in OBP (between Liverziani and Vasquez), was third in RBI (after Suarez and Alex Sambucci), tied Sambucci for 4th in doubles (13) and tied for second in home runs (4, one behind Carlos Maldonado). He was 4 for 13 with 4 walks, 2 doubles, two runs and two RBI as Rimini pulled off a four-game upset sweep of Bologna in the 2015 Italian Series. He won his third IBL MVP, joining Liverziani as the only three-time winners.
Sources: 2003 Baseball Almanac, Defunct IBAF site, Italian Baseball and Softball Federation site, Baseball.it, Mister Baseball site for European Baseball News, 2008 European Cup in Regensburg, 2008 European Cup Final Four, 2009 European Cup in Nettuno, 2008 European Cup Final Four, World Baseball Classic, 2010 European Championship, 2012 European Cup Round 1 2012 European Cup Finals, 2014 CEB tournaments, 2015 European Cup in Rotterdam