JUPITER, Fla. -- It is often difficult to stand out from the pack this early in spring, with dozens of Minor Leaguers clogging up the box scores, but Cory Mazzoni has managed to do it.
The 23-year-old right-hander added three perfect innings to his resume on Tuesday against the Marlins, increasing his total of shutout innings to five over two Grapefruit League appearances. Working on perfecting his changeup this spring, Mazzoni has struck out three and allowed one hit without walking a batter.
"He's been everything I've heard about him," manager Terry Collins said. "I was certainly anxious to see him. He's been very impressive."
Mazzoni cultivated his reputation as a strike-thrower last year at Class A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton, fanning nearly three times as many batters as he walked. Though he does not possess the same type of electric stuff as some of the more-hyped arms in the organization, his three-pitch mix has resulted in a 3.72 ERA over the first two years of his Minor League career.
The Mets' second-round Draft pick in 2011, Mazzoni should reach Triple-A Las Vegas early this summer if he does not begin the season there. A strong Spring Training can only help speed him along that track.
"Right now I've just been trying to throw strikes and pound the zone, and I've been able to do that," Mazzoni said. "The results have been pretty good."