Legends On Deck

Prospects On Deck: Outfielder Nomar Mazara- Rangers

Photo credit: Oladipo Awowale/MiLB.com

The Texas Rangers signed a then 16-year old Nomar Mazara to a record $4.95MM bonus in July of 2011, which at the time set the record for highest bonus paid to a July 2 international signing. The 6’4, 195 pounder out of the Dominican Republic came with a reputation as a toolsy player, but most considered the signing an overpay by Texas.

In his first season in pro ball in 2012, Mazara was sent to play in the rookie league in Arizona. In 54 games he showed flashes of potential, hitting .264 with a .383 OBP, six homers and 13 doubles. Certainly those weren’t eye-popping numbers, but impressive for a kid adjusting to a new country, language and league.

2013 saw Nomar take another step towards reaching his promise, playing 126 games against stout competition in the Sally League. Although he would hit just .236, his power started to show as he raked 13 home runs and laced 23 doubles. These were big steps in the development of a then 18-year old playing against competition that averaged nearly four years older than him.

Finally 2014 brought the season that would place him firmly amongst the top prospects of the game. Starting his season back in the Sally League surrounded by other top prospects such as Joey Gallo and Jorge Alfaro, Mazara excelled. In 106 games for Hickory the Santo Domingo native hit .264 with a .358 OBP, 19 longballs and 21 doubles–earning himself a promotion to Double-A Frisco. Once there, he continued to improve, hitting .306 with a .381 OBP. He also tacked on another three HR’s and seven doubles, finishing 2014 with a .271/.362/.478 slash line to go with 22 homers and 28 doubles.

This season, Mazara came in ranked 31st amongst all prospects according to Keith Law— and he hasn’t disappointed. Back in Frisco where he’s still 4.4 years younger than league average, “the other Nomar” is absolutely raking. Through just 10 games he’s hitting .382 with a .436 OBP and has cut his strikeouts by over 5%. He’s also handled southpaws much better, something that was a major deficiency in his game in the past.

With his combination of raw power and advanced approach, along with a defensive profile that figures to be above average to go with a rocket arm, Mazara is on his way to stardom. It certainly appears the Rangers $4.95MM commitment to a player Law recently described as “frighteningly talented” could end up being a bargain.

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Kirk Cahill

Contributing Writer at Legends On Deck®
Kirk is very knowledgeable of MLB's minor league system and brings a passion for writing about the stars of tomorrow. Kirk is also a contributing writer for MetsMerizedOnline and MetsMinors.net. He is a native New Yorker and lifelong Mets fan. Follow him on Twitter @KirkC_.