Mar 13, 2014; Surprise, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford (35) is congratulated by first baseman Mark Minicozzi (71) after scoring in the third inning against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Cow Tipping with Erin: San Francisco Giants’ prospect Mark Minicozzi

Each week, “Cow Tipping” will feature a San Francisco Giants’ prospect from one of our farm teams.

I met Mark Minicozzi at Spring Training this past March. I was waiting outside Scottsdale Stadium after the Futures Game that Sunday to see if I could catch a glimpse of one of our prospects; or possibly try to get an autograph. With a new baseball in hand along with a black Sharpie, I waited patiently. I wasn’t really planning on meeting Minicozzi, it just happened, which is one of the magical things about Spring Training. But that isn’t what this piece is about.

 

Mark Minicozzi, 2014 Spring Training, Scottsdale Stadium, Scottsdale, AZ, photo by Fred Hickethier

Mark Minicozzi, 2014 Spring Training, Scottsdale Stadium, Scottsdale, AZ, photo by Fred Hickethier

 

I chose this week’s “Cow Tipping” to be about Mark Minicozzi because not only is he a genuinely nice guy (read: fan friendly) but he has an interesting story in his baseball career. Normally when we hear about a prospect, we think of a young kid, maybe in his early 20’s or even younger, plucked straight out of college and given the chance to play in the Arizona League or possibly Class Short Season A. However Mark Minicozzi’s career started in 2005 when the San Francisco Giants drafted him in the 17th round of the June Amateur Draft from East Carolina University, in Greenville, NC.

He was originally released from the Giants in 2008 after having Tommy John Surgery.  I’m sure most of us thought he had just disappeared and chosen a different path, but like baseball, life is not always predictable.

Since then, his journey allowed him to play for such teams as the Kansas City T-Bones, Winnipeg  Goldeyes, and Worcester Tornadoes before returning to the San Francisco Giants’ organization in 2012. As the story goes,  Minicozzi went to watch a San Jose Giants’ game where he was invited to join them the following morning. The rest, as they say, is history.

In 2012, he found himself in Augusta, GA, playing for the GreenJackets. He soon ended up in Richmond, VA, playing for the Flying Squirrels for the duration of the 2012 and the full 2013 seasons. He recently came off the DL, and is recovering from a separated shoulder. He started the season with the San Jose Giants and is now in Fresno playing for the Grizzlies.

He currently plays Third Base, and since coming off the DL, has played 20 games, with 75 At-Bats, and 4 Home Runs. He has 26 RBI and a .400 Batting Average. Not bad for an “older” player with an interesting resume. I’m hoping this kid will be called up soon and finally see his dreams of being in the Big Leagues become a reality.

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