Mets minor league second baseman L.J. Mazzilli was suspended 50 games without pay, for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The announcement was made public by the Office of the Commissioner, through official press releases on Friday.
Mazzilli, 24, played 131 games across three levels last season, including 66 at Single-A Savannah, where he hit .292 with seven home runs, 45 runs batted in, and 11 stolen bases. He was originally selected by the Mets in the fourth round of the 2013 draft, from the University of Connecticut. He is also the son of former Mets outfielder Lee Mazzilli.
“Unfortunately, in life, you cannot go back on a bad decision that was made, and in my case, one that I very much regret,” Mazzilli said in a statement. “After everything my loved ones, supporters, and the Mets have given me, especially an opportunity to chase my childhood dream, I couldn’t be more ashamed and sorry. I am fully ready to own up to my mistake and accept the repercussions from Major League Baseball.”
The elder Mazzilli also chimed in on his son’s wrongdoing. “There is nothing politically correct that I could say that can soften the blow, my son made a mistake. Just like any other parent out there, we are disappointed and hurt when our children make bad decisions. However, we are proud of our son for seeking professional help on his own. The only thing now that we can do as a family is love him, support him, and have faith as we’ve always done.”
The news is certainly disappointing for the Mets organization, and the fans who were eager to see their young middle infielder as he moves up the ranks. Mazzilli had been slated to open the season at either Double-A Binghamton or Triple-A Las Vegas.