Texas Rangers: What is wrong with Nomar Mazara?
Texas Rangers Nomar Mazara has been slumping in June. Is it just a slump, or a sign of things to come?
Over the last three years, right fielder Nomar Mazara has been one of the most reliable Texas Rangers hitters. Through the end of May, it was looking like it would be another solid year for Mazara. Mazara was hitting .277 with a .346 on-base percentage and a .514 slugging percentage. He had also smashed 13 homeruns, on pace to shatter his career-high of 20. However, in the month of June, Mazara has just a .158/.233/.316 slash line. In addition, he has just one home run in his ten games played. So what’s been the problem for one of the Rangers most reliable hitters over the last three years?
He isn’t hitting singles
In what has been a monthly downward trend this season, Mazara has been extra-base hit or bust in June. Of his six hits this month, just two have been singles. This follows up May, where only 12 of his 30 hits (40%) were singles. After April saw Mazara with a one-base knock in 77% of his hits (24/31), he has been trending downwards. A high percentage of XBH might sound good in theory, but when you’re getting a hit in just 16% of your at-bats, it becomes an issue.
He’s just in a common slump
Mazara could just be mired in what every hitter in baseball goes through: a slump. A ten-game June sample size isn’t large enough to make any sweeping accusations. From May 19-28, Mazara found himself in a 6-for-35 slump before registering two hits in three consecutive games. However, it is concerning that if you take out that three-game hot streak, Mazara is just 12-for-73 (.164) over his last 23 games.
He’s getting unlucky
Mazara’s struggles may simply be the result of some bad luck. The Texas Rangers outfielder is hitting just .179 on balls in play, which is an absurdly low number. As someone who doesn’t strike out too much (20% career K rate), this issue will probably solve his struggles. If his BABIP corrects itself to north of .220, Mazara will see his batting average rise near his typical .260.
Crashing to Earth
The most likely explanation is that we’re just seeing Mazara return to his normal form. A career .260 hitter, Mazara was hitting .299 as of May 12. He was also slugging homeruns at an unusually high rate, on pace at the end of May for 33. Odds are he’s not gonna all of a sudden raise his average nearly 40 points and homerun total by 13. His current batting average of .260 is the lowest its been since April 2nd.
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Most likely, we’ve seen the worst stretch Mazara will have, and can expect his usual level of production from here on out.