Giants Top 50: #28 - Mark Minicozzi

Mark Minicozzi hits for average at every level from college to San Jose. What he lacks is power, at least until he hit the Hawaiian Winter Baseball league. There he hit a lot and showed progress to raise hopes and his stock in the organization.

Date of Birth: 02/11/1983 Position: 3B Height: 6'1" Weight: 210 Bats: R Throws: R
Acquired: Drafted in the 17th Round (#522 Overall) of the 2005 Draft
2006 Stats
Team-Level AVG OBP SLG OPS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS
San Jose - High-A .282 .345 .360 .705 497 70 140 23 2 4 77 44 87 2 4
Waikiki - HWB .280 .363 .475 .838 118 24 33 9 1 4 24 14 29 3 1

Good teams raise the level of play for the men who take the field. Mark Minicozzi benefited from playing on two great teams in 2006 and it did elevate his statistics. More importantly he has improved beyond what is in the box scores.

Minicozzi took his premise of good hitting far in his first full minor league season. He hit .282 in 2006 and ranked second on the San Jose Giants with 77 runs batted in. On a team with lots of interchangeable parts especially in the infield, Minicozzi played second base almost exclusively and led the team in games played as well as at bats.

As good as he and the Giants were in the regular season he did not contribute to San Jose's playoff cause and the team lost a five game series to the Visalia Oaks. Minicozzi batted only .111 in the series.

His winter season with the Waikiki Beach Boys was a revival in more than one way. The Hawaiian Baseball League began play again after a nine-year hiatus and San Francisco sent some of their best and brightest to the Big Island to work on their games in the winter league.

Minicozzi's power hitting highlighted a fine campaign where he again hit for average. He hit four home runs in Waikiki, as many as he hit in San Jose but in 115 at bats versus 495 with the Giants. He did exactly what he needed to do when came to Waikiki: he learned to drive the ball.

Working with a familiar manager and overall great baseball man helped Minicozzi as well. Lenn Sakata has coached in San Jose in some capacity for the last eight years and has guided the club as manager for five seasons. Sakata returned home to Hawaii to coach future stars including his own players.

Minicozzi also returned to third base in the HWB after playing second in San Jose. The defensive results were about the same; 12 errors in San Jose, 4 errors in Waikiki.

He collected recognition for his performance in the winter league in postseason All-Star selection and when he won the Player of the Week Award for the week of October 29. In that week he hit .391 with ten RBI and six runs scored.

If he looks like the same player he was going into the 2006 season, look again. Look back at his college stats and see he could hit then--.342 and .319 batting averages in his last two seasons at East Carolina University--and he can hit now after two seasons in professional baseball. A fielder who can play up the middle and at the hot corner with a good arm is adding to his abilities and just tapped into power potential that could develop with time and patience.

At the lower levels of the minors, where Minicozzi might stick while he figures out the new tools at his disposal, improvement looks pretty drastic and then has a tendency to level off. This infielder will live up to expectations if those expectations are kept consistent with the results of his progress. Long story short, he's growing, and that growth could make a difference down the road, just as it did for the Giants and the Beach Boys in 2006.



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Chris has been a Giants fan since her days in utero. She loves baseball and writes about whatever she can get her hands on…even the Athletics. She's a Bay Area gal through and through. This is her 24th season of fandom. Love/hate mail can be sent to seasond_salt@yahoo.com, where the love mail gets top priority and the hate mail gets used for kindling.

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