The offseason is beginning to wind down, but that also means Spring Training is approaching. Players are eagerly waiting to get on the field and get prepared for the 2018 season. Which Rangers player will be the most improvement this season?
It’s a tough task to make predictions, especially in the MLB. The Texas Rangers are beginning to introduce younger players into their organization. That just makes it increasingly more difficult to create accurate predictions.
One player could soar above the rest in 2018 and that person is outfielder Nomar Mazara. The 22-year-old is heading into his third season with the Rangers. He’s coming off back-to-back successful seasons, but could be headed towards an MVP type 2018.
Last season, Mazara hit .253 with 20 home runs and 101 RBIs in 148 games. He increased his stats on offense in just about every category. His runs batted in improved by 37, but it could be argued that is more of a “team statistic” than individual.
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Regardless, Mazara has made huge strides in 2017 and put together two consecutive reliable seasons. His doubles increased from 13 in 2016, to 30 last season. At first glance, that stat might not mean much, but hopefully it does.
Mazara has been able to lift the ball with more conviction. This should result in more home runs and increased production on offense. For example, Elvis Andrus hit a career-high 44 doubles, which resulted in a career-high 20 home runs.
Part of it is luck, on whether or not the ball actually gets out of the park. Although, if Mazara continues to play the way he did in 2017, more home runs and production should come along with it.
It is difficult to make predictions especially without seeing performances in Spring Training. Mazara increased his walks and OBP last season, and is one of the youngest players on the Rangers roster. The future is bright, not only for Mazara, but the Rangers organization as well.