The Texas Rangers had two players represented in today’s Futures Game, Nick Williams for the U.S. team and Nomar Mazara for the World team. The game was a blowout, with the U.S. team winning 10-1 with the only run given up by the U.S. team being an unearned run. Kyle Schwarber, catcher for the Chicago Cubs, won MVP for the game after a 1-for-3 performance which a triple and two RBI.
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The game was a good chance to see different pitchers from around the minors. The World team used 10 different pitchers, with Jarlin Garcia of the Miami Marlins pitching the most at 1.2 innings but gave up three runs. Garcia picked up the loss for the World team. Starter Jose Berrios of the Miami Twins pitched a scoreless first inning without giving up a hit. The U.S. team used nine pitchers, with the starter Lucas Giolito of the Washington Nationals pitching two shutout innings. Amir Garrett of the Cincinnati Reds picked up the win after giving up an unearned run in his one inning of work.
Marara started the game as the Designated Hitter for the World team, hitting eighth in the lineup and staying in for the entire game. Mazara went 2-for-3, with two singles. He was one of three players on the World team to pick up two hits, joining Ketel Marte of the Seattle Mariners and Raimel Tapia of the Colorado Rockies. Mazara has hit .283/.360/.447 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI in 80 games for the Frisco RoughRiders this season. Mazara has a lot of potential to be an impact outfielder in the next few years but will be the center of trade rumors until that time. After Jake Thompson, Mazara is likely to be a name that all teams are going to be requesting to be in any trade.
Williams did not start, coming off the bench to replace Michael Conforto from the New York Mets in left field. Williams went 1-for-2 with a run driven in and scored a run himself. Williams was one of 11 players with a hit, with Trea Turner of the San Diego Padres and Conforto each leading the team with two hits. Williams, the second round pick of the Rangers in 2012, has hit .295/.354/.455 with nine home runs and 35 RBI in his 83 games with the Frisco RoughRiders.
Williams and Mazara offer plenty of star power along with pitcher Thompson. While many believe that the results and standings in the minor leagues do not matter as much, with top prospects like these three together it may matter more. They will learn about each other and will learn how to win as a group. If they continue to succeed, they will all be ready to be called up around the same time at the end of 2016 or early in 2017. With the potential for the Rangers to be buyers at the trade deadline, it is becoming just as likely that any grouping of these three will be sent off to help the major league club sooner rather than later.
Full Box Score– MLB.com