Brian Keith Mazone
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 4", Weight 200 lb.
- School University of San Diego
- High School San Dieguito High School
Brian Mazone is a "phantom major leaguer." A rainout deprived him of his chance to pitch for the Philadelphia Phillies on September 5, 2006. He never made it back up, though he came close a couple of other times.
As a sophomore at the University of San Diego, he went 5-5 with 1 save and a 3.74 ERA. He joined Randy Wolf and another hurler as the All-Star starting pitchers in the West Coast Conference. He improved to 7-6, 3.25 as a junior. His senior year, he went 11-3 with a save but his ERA rose to 4.88; he led the WCC in victories.
Mazone was undrafted out of college and signed with the Atlanta Braves. In 1998, he went 1-6 with a 5.53 ERA while allowing 91 hits in 68 1/3 IP. He was released by Atlanta. The Boston Red Sox signed him that fall but released him before he appeared in their system. Brian signed with the independent Zion Pioneerzz and was 5-5 with a 5.60 ERA in 1999, surrendering 141 hits in 101 1/3 innings. He signed with the Detroit Tigers in February 2000 but never pitched in their organization. In 2000, the southpaw improved to 7-1, 3.86 for Zion and made the Western Baseball League All-Star team. He did not play in 2001 due to injury.
In 2002, Brian made major strides, going 15-3 with a 2.51 ERA for the Joliet JackHammers. He led the Northern League's Central Division in wins, was second in strikeouts (128) behind Bobby Madritsch and was 5th in ERA. That earned him a trip back to Organized Baseball as he signed with the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Californian was horrendous for the 2003 High Desert Mavericks, dropping all 7 decisions and posting a 9.31 ERA. He gave up 97 hits in 59 innings for a .368 opponent batting average. Released once more, he was signed by Joliet. He was 5-2 with a 2.89 ERA for the JackHammers after his return, finishing third in the Northern League in ERA.
Mazone starred for Joliet again in 2004, posting a 9-2, 1.73 record. He gave up just 77 hits (3 homers) and 15 walks in 104 1/3 innings. He led the Northern League in shutouts (4) and ERA and was named to the All-Star team. He joined his fifth MLB organization when the San Francisco Giants gave him another shot. He did well for the Norwich Navigators (1-1, 2 Sv, 2.08, 19 K in 17 1/3 IP) and also pitched with the Fresno Grizzlies (1-0, 4.63 in 2 G).
In 2005, the journeyman went 11-8 with 1 save and a 3.20 ERA for Norwich. He tied Jon Lester and Matt Peterson for 4th in the Eastern League in victories and was 5th in ERA behind Lester, Matt DeSalvo, Cory Morris and Chris Begg. It was his first full season in Organized Baseball since 1998.
Mazone moved to his 6th MLB organization in 2006 by signing with the Philadelphia Phillies. He continued to improve, going 1-3 with a 2.39 ERA for the Reading Phillies and earning a promotion to AAA. The 29-year-old veteran went 13-3 with a 2.03 ERA for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, giving up only 108 hits in 128 1/3 IP. He led the International League in ERA by a considerable margin (.93 ahead of Heath Phillips) and tied for second in wins, one behind Charlie Haeger. He was left off the League All-Star team as Phillips was named the best starting pitcher and also took home Most Valuable Pitcher honors.
As the Red Barons were preparing for the IL playoffs, the Phillies called up Mazone, who was then 30. Back-to-back doubleheaders over the previous weekend had left the team in need of another arm. He was assigned uniform number 49. However, after torrential rains postponed that evening's game, the Phillies sent Mazone back down because Randy Wolf had gotten enough rest to make the start the next night. Mazone was not called up again that season because he was not on the 40-man roster and the Phillies did not want to take a chance on losing another player.
In 2007, the left-hander had a 3-2, 2.21 record after six games for the Ottawa Lynx. He was then sold to the Samsung Lions. Mazone signed to play in South Korea because the salary was better, but he missed a potential opportunity to make it to the majors when the Phillies were struck by a rash of injuries to pitchers. He went 7-11 with a 4.18 ERA for Samsung and was 5th in the Korea Baseball Organization in losses.
Mazone returned to the Phillies system for 2008 and went 9-12 with a 4.10 ERA for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs; his record was somewhat deceptive as the team overall was 55-89, making Mazone above-average for the staff. He went 2-1 with a 3.77 ERA that winter for the Yaquis de Obregón.
Mazone joined the Los Angeles Dodgers organization in 2009 and was one cut away from making the roster out of spring training. He was going to head west with the team for a last exhibition game at Dodger Stadium when a staph infection in his leg knocked him out of action for several weeks. Mazone was then on Italy's provisional roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic but was left off the final roster.
Mazone retired from baseball in the spring of 2011.
- Sheinin, Dave "A lifelong dream washed away" Washington Post, August 30, 2018
- 2008 Phillies Media Guide
- KBO Player Page
- 1996-1998, 2001, 2003-2009 Baseball Almanacs