Texas Rangers: Has Nomar Mazara found his long-term power stroke?

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ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 6: Nomar Mazara #30 of the Texas Rangers prepare to bat against the Boston Red Sox during the eighth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 6, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. The Red Sox won 6-1. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 6: Nomar Mazara #30 of the Texas Rangers prepare to bat against the Boston Red Sox during the eighth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 6, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. The Red Sox won 6-1. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /
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The Texas Rangers have seen a flash of Nomar Mazara‘s true offensive potential. Has he made the adjustments at the plate for long-term success?

Nomar Mazara is on a mini power surge. The Texas Rangers right fielder launched a historic 505-foot home run Friday night, and then hit two more Saturday night, both of which were also no doubters. The broadcast crew highlighted that his three homers totaled over 1,300 feet! Mazara clearly has extraordinary power, so why doesn’t he show it off more often?

A player that accounts for the two longest round-trippers over a ballpark’s 25-year span, you’d think Mazara would have his fair share of 350-foot home runs as well. However, the fourth-year player has yet to hit more than 20 home runs in a season. He’s on pace to hit more than 20 this go around, but it took the recent surge to set the promising pace.

Launch angle isn’t a major part of his game like it is Joey Gallo‘s, but strength is. Mazara has the strength and the swing to be an elite home run hitter. Though, he isn’t one… yet.

Texas Rangers
ST PETERSBURG, FL – APRIL 16: Nomar Mazara #30 of the Texas Rangers reacts to hitting a three run home run in the eighth inning during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on April 16, 2018 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Texas has been working with the lefty to try to get him to hit more balls in the air. A 2019 ground ball percentage of 49.8 is still quite high, but it is down 6% from 2018. His line drive percentage is up 2% and his fly ball percentage is up 4%. Thus, he is trending in the ideal direction.

It may boil down to power not being a primary focus of his. While the Three True Outcomes are taking over the baseball world, Mazara still takes an old school approach at the plate. He hits a lot of ground balls and line drives, plus he uses the whole field. According to Fangraphs, he has pulled the ball 36.1% of the time, hit it to center at a 30.7% clip and to the opposite field at a 33.2% clip in 2019.

Compare those percentages to Gallo’s — 53.7% pull, 28.4% center, 17.9% oppo — and the difference is obvious. If Mazara wanted to get pull happy, his power numbers would likely go up. The pull side is obviously the area of his greatest power potential.

He could key in on an inside fastball and get out in front of it, as he did with the 505-foot homer. Does he need to do that every pitch? Absolutely not. But when he’s in a hitter’s count, say 2-0, 3-1 or 2-1, he has the luxury of preparing for one particular pitch.

This isn’t high school where a hitter’s count essentially guarantees a fastball. However, that’s still the pitch that will be coming the majority of the time. Mazara has struggled against the fastball this season; therefore, he’s seeing it often — 52.9% of the time, to  be exact.

The last two nights, he has planted his stride in perfect timing, kept his weight back and ripped his hands towards the ball. He turned around two 95 mph fastballs, but also lifted a high changeup over the Rangers’ bullpen.

Nomar Mazara is a very dangerous hitter at the moment. He has always had the ability to hit for premier power, but some minor thing has always seemed to have held him back. Hopefully his timing and plate approach have clicked for the long-term.

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