Winnipeg Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney is doing his best to make sure his 2013 batting order still has some pop.
Forney and the Fish announced Friday the re-signing of infielder/outfielder Josh Mazzola, joining Amos Ramon as the two players signed for next season.
The 26-year-old Mazzola played in 98 games for the Goldeyes this past season, finishing tied for third in the American Association with 18 home runs and fifth in slugging percentage at .541, while hitting.308 and driving in 74 runs. That RBI total, and his 25 doubles, led the Goldeyes. Defensively, Mazzola was Mr. Versatile, playing 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 in a press release. "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."
Mazzola was especially effective for the Goldeyes when it mattered, hitting .322 with four homers and 27 RBI in the last month of the season and then .400 with two dingers and six RBI in six playoff games.
He played his first four seasons of pro 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.