The son of a former MLB player, LJ Mazzilli worked hard to develop his game at the IMG Academy baseball program. Now a junior at the University of Connecticut, Mazzilli has become one of the top players in college baseball.
From the Hartford Courant:
Although he spent a lot of time as a kid aroundAlfonso Soriano andDerek Jeter in theYankees clubhouse, he most admires the swing ofAlex Rodriguez, taking note of his great balance. Mazzilli worked on it at IMG Academy in Florida.
Mazzilli hit .312 and .338 in his first two seasons at UConn, with three homers each season. This season, he began turning up the power after struggling through a weekend trip to Starkville, Miss., going 1-for-8 with three strikeouts against Mississippi State. When the Huskies returned home, Mazzilli studied his swings, frame-by-fame, and spotted the flaw.
"I looked at the video," he said, "and I saw that my left hip was really flying open. So I concentrated on keeping it in, hitting the ball to right-center. That's where I started to take off."
Mazzilli homered in four consecutive games, then noticed that he was "jerking the ball too much" and made another adjustment. At his best, he hits line drives to right- and left-center.
"When he uses the whole field," Penders said, "he's as dangerous a hitter as there is in college baseball."