Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 18…of 286. Stay tuned.
Chris Mazza is a 6’4″, 180 lb. right-handed pitcher from Walnut Creek, CA. Born on October 17th, 1989, he was chosen in the 27th round of the 2011 draft, by the Minnesota Twins with the 838th overall selection out of Menlo College. If Mazza someday makes the major leagues, he will be the sixth player from the “838 club” to make it that far, led by Mike Maddux (1979, Cincinnati Reds, 5.4 career WAR). Follow Mazza on Twitter @ChrisMazza10.
Mazza split his first professional season between the Elizabethtown and Gulf Coast Twins, both rookie-level outfits in the Minensota organization. He posted a 5-2 record with a 2.05 ERA and 28 K’s in 30 2/3 innings, with a 0.95 WHIP for his troubles. The solid showing would see Mazza promoted to the Cedar Rapids Kernels, in the low-A Midwest League. Unfortunately, Mazza languished there for the the better part of three seasons. The Twins dumped him on July 24th, 2015.
And that’s where the Miami Marlins would sign him to free agent minor league deal. They assigned Mazza to the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League, where he posted a 3.60 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP in 15 innings, with a 1.20 ERA.
In 2016, Mazza split his season between the Hammerheads and the double-A Jacksonville Suns, in the Southern League. He started 17 games and came out of the bullpen 13 times, going 8-6 with a 3.51 ERA. He struck out 62 in 100 innings, with a 1.22 WHIP.
2017 would see Mazza spend his entire season with the newly rebranded Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, and make 26 rotational starts. He posted a 4-7 record with a solid 3.01 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP, along with 93 K’s in 146 2/3 innings.
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This season, Mazza opened the year at the triple-A level for the first time, in the bullpen with the New Orleans Baby Cakes. He pitched in seven games in April for the Cakes, going 1-1 with a 3.94 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP. The Miami Marlins sent him back down to the Shrimp. After pitching twice in relief, the Marlins released Mazza on May 19th.
After three months on nobody’s radar, Mazza was signed to a free agent minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners on August 17th, and it’s the best thing that could have happened to him. He’s allowed 15 hits in 27 innings for an oppBA of .158 and a 0.70 WHIP. He’s walked four and struck out 23, going 2-1 with a 1.33 ERA over four starts for the double-A Arkansas Travelers in the double-A Texas League.
Although no longer part of the Miami Marlins organization, we wish Mazza well. He could make a major league appearance at some point in the future.
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