Who is Cory Mazzoni? A break-out prospect

In a report for ESPN.com, BP’s minor league reporter Kevin Goldstein lists 22-year-old Mets RHP Cory Mazzoni among 10 breakout prospects for 2012.

The Mets selected Mazzoni with the 71st overall pick in the second round of last year’s draft out of North Carolina State University. He then appeared in 12 games for St. Lucie and Brooklyn, during which he was 2-1 with a 1.38 ERA while striking out 18 batters and walking 3 in 13 innings pitched.

In his report, Goldstein writes of Mazzoni:

[jbox color=”gray”]”Those numbers came in short stints after a heavy college workload, and he’ll return to starting in 2012, equipped with a fastball and slider that both rate as above average. His early success has some tempted to see if he could move quickly as a reliever, but for now, that’s a backup plan.”[/jbox]

In late December, MinorLeagueBall.com’s John Sickels ranked Mazzoni as the team’s 10th best prospect giving him a C+ grade.

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Matthew Cerrone: I have heard minor league experts talk about his smooth, consistent delivery and impeccable control, which probably gets the coaching staff excited because it means he can now spend more time developing pitches (instead of tinkering with mechanics). They say he needs to work on his fastball, which lacks movement. However, overall, insiders say he has a lot of potential and an intriguing arm. They also say he ‘looks like a relief pitcher,’ because of his arm slot and size. But, like Goldstein suggests, he’ll certainly begin 2012 as a starting pitcher. I’ve also heard there is a very good chance he moves through the system quickly, again because he’s advanced enough and the team has a lot less-mature, young pitching fighting for time in the lower levels.

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To see Goldstein’s list of 10 Breakout Prospects for 2012, on which no other NL East players appear except Mazzoni, click here.