Nomar Mazara Having Strong Spring Training

Mar 21, 2015; Surprise, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers right fielder Nomar Mazara (43) beats the tag of Milwaukee Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado (12) to score a run at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 21, 2015; Surprise, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers right fielder Nomar Mazara (43) beats the tag of Milwaukee Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado (12) to score a run at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

The Texas Rangers’ Nomar Mazara is one of the top prospects in baseball, but now he’s making a case for a big league spot.

Nomar Mazara entered Texas Ranger spring camp as a young, budding prospect with a bright future lined up ahead of him. He is a top of the line hitter with impressive seasons at every level of the Ranger minor league system. In every season besides his 2013 campaign in Single-A Hickory, he’s hit .265 or better with solid homerun and extra base power. He continues to develop as a player and prospect and many people, including myself, have him as the best player in the Rangers’ system above Joey Gallo. His future is bright and with every day, it seems to get brighter.


Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

Mazara came to Texas at age 17 out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 2011. He received what was at the time, the largest bonus ever given to an international amateur, $4.95 million. At the time, this was a shocking number, given that Mazara was not even 18 years old, and still an amateur player in the Dominican. At the time of the signing, he showed impressive raw power, and the Texas Rangers took note of his imposing 6’4″ build.

He struggled in his first full season posting only a .692 OPS and his only sub .265 batting average in his career. Despite that, he quickly has developed into the number 2 outfield prospect in all of Major League Baseball in 2015 according to Prospect Watch. He made it to Double-A Frisco at age 19 where he played in 24 games and posted an impressive .306 batting average.

He’s not an exceptionally fast player and speed is probably his main detractor, but his ability to read the ball and get good jumps translates well to an everyday right field position. At the plate, he has incredible raw power evidenced by his 22 homeruns in 2014 between Single-A and Double-A as well as his 14 in 2015 between Double-A and Triple-A. His plate approach and maturity is something scouts point to as one of his biggest positives because he gets pitches to drive and hits a number of line drives. The best part about all of this for the Rangers though, is that Mazara is currently only 20 years old. They hold one of the best and most proven prospects in the game, and he’s not even 21 yet.

Current Position:

Right now, the young outfielder has found himself with the opportunity to catapult himself onto the Rangers Opening Day roster and a chance to get major playing time in left field. Granted, some of the likelihood has dissipated with the signing and subsequent transition of shortstop Ian Desmond to left field, but the opportunity is there nonetheless. With the recent injury issues with outfielder, Josh Hamilton (pictured with Mazara above), an opening has developed in left field for the Texas Rangers. Questions have begun to develop about whether to cover the wound with “bandaid players” until the team is back to full strength. More interestingly, the once slim chance that Nomar Mazara may make the big league squad in early 2016, has increased.

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Mazara has proven himself to be a well-developed, mature player, time and time again. Doubters still caution against jumping the gun too soon citing Jurickson Profar and Joey Gallo as evidence. The issue stands that, with such a young talent, the team should avoid putting him in a position that may set him up for failure. Throwing him in the midst of a lineup and roster that is geared for another AL West championship race and a deep playoff run will put a lot of pressure on the kid. However, as opportunity presents itself, now may be as good a time as ever to test the waters. With the position in the balance, Mazara seems poised to take the next step for Texas.

If there was doubt based on his Minor League numbers, Mazara’s, admittedly small but still impressive, Spring Training sample size adds to the case. In the short time that the Texas Rangers have been playing Spring Training games, Mazara has only played in 4 games, but has made the most of his opportunities. He’s currently 7 for 11 with a homerun and 6 RBI and doesn’t seem to be getting fooled by Major League quality pitchers. His one strikeout is evidence of that. While this sample is extremely small and nobody should rush too quickly to judgment, many think that this is a trend of what Mazara can bring to the table for the big league club.

I’m not saying that this should be a lockup roster spot for Mazara or even that it should be intensely discussed. What I am saying is that he deserves a mention as an option and he seems to be forcing himself into the conversation with his on the field showing in early March. The rest of March will give more insight into what kind of player Texas has on their hand and whether or not he’s ready for the big time, but needless to say, this kid is a future face, of the Texas Ranger franchise.

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