Over the Texas Rangers previous win streak, there was one player that has a lack of effort that is extremely confusing to me.
There is no doubt that Nomar Mazara has unlimited potential at the plate, and he could become a player that hits .330 with 50+ home runs for the Texas Rangers. Entering Saturday, over his last 30 games, Mazara is hitting .298, so it appears that his bat is trending in the right direction.
But there is just something about Mazara that makes it a bit confusing to watch him play. At the plate, he can have a stretch where he hits 500+ foot home runs, and bat .350 for a stretch or he can be ice-cold and hit under .250. Sure, streaks always happen in baseball, but players with insane potential like Mazara should be more prone to the .350 streaks, than the .250 ones, and have at least one season (out of three and a half!) where he hits over .270.
Mazara in the field usually isn’t very pretty, but he had two plays during the six-game winning streak that were just baffling.
The first play was the Saturday night game against the White Sox. There was a ball crushed to the right-center field gap in the area where the right field wall comes in for the bullpen. It was without a doubt a tough play to make, but watching Delino Deshields go all out from his position after that ball, while Mazara jogged and watched Deshields barely miss a ball (that should’ve been Mazara’s) was extremely frustrating.
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Then another play occurred in Friday night’s game against the Rays when a ball was hit weakly about midway in right field. Rougned Odor gave an all-out effort trying to catch the ball, while Mazara gingerly jogged in, assuming Odor would catch it when he had a much easier play. Had Mazara given some sort of effort, he probably could’ve called off Odor, and made the play without much of a problem.
I think that these instances stem from Mazara just not really caring that much about baseball. Per a SportsDay Article, “Mazara would have been happy fighting for a spot on a basketball court.” His father actually gave him the push to play baseball, because of there being more money in it than basketball.
I’m sure that Mazara cares a lot about baseball, but it seems like he does not by how he seemingly doesn’t try on some plays. It is pretty incredible how far Mazara’s talent has taken him. If my fear of him actually giving lackluster effort on the field is true, and he actually did start to give complete effort, Mazara could become a perennial MVP candidate, and one of the most feared hitters in baseball.
Hopefully, Mazara can become that with the Texas Rangers, so he and Joey Gallo can become one of the most dangerous hitting duos in baseball.