2016 Fantasy Baseball: Prospect Profile — Nomar Mazara
Twenty-plus home run potential for a 20 year old? Nomar Mazara is smashing his way through the minor leagues and will inevitably do the same for the Texas Rangers in 2016.
One of the youngest ball players to be in AAA to start the season, Nomar Mazara was an international signing by the Rangers in 2011 for a record $4.95 million. At the age of just 17 Mazara saw his first taste of professional baseball, and while he was very unpolished, he had an OPS in the mid 800s, which just proved the Rangers were on to something. Standing at 6’4” tall and about 200 pounds he has all the measurements to make one heck of a ball player, and being a lefty in Texas makes that even more captivating.
Mazara has skyrocketed up the rankings for both Baseball America and MLB.com with rankings of 87 and 54 respectively entering 2015. Today, he sits at 21 and 18 respectively and all can be contributed to his .306/.381/.518 slash line in 2014 at AA and his .296/.366/.443 line in 2015 at both AA and AAA levels.
Nomar Mazara still has plenty of polishing to still do in order to be a real legitimate star in Major League baseball but all signs point to that happening sooner rather than later. Despite a drop in his slugging percentage from 2014 to 2015 the lefty slugger is becoming more consistent at the plate with increases in average and on base percentage at the minor leagues highest level.
Mazara has the potential to put up 20+ homers right now and that’s only at the age of 20. If he continues to improve on his power and the ability to hit to all fields, he will easily become a 60+ extra base hit type of player. He has hit 36 homers over his last two seasons and an additional 59 doubles / triples in that same period of time.
What makes Mazara even more solid of a ball player is his defense. He’s not going to be known for the surest of hands with a .959 fielding percentage over his first four seasons, but he has a canon for an arm. In his time in the minors, Mazara has 40 outfield assists and seven (count them SEVEN) double plays from the outfield position. To put that into perspective Ichiro Suzuki only had 26 double plays in his 15-year career. If Mazara can keep that up he will find himself on a Major League roster regardless of his offensive output.
Projections And Predictions
Mazara still has a ways to go before he makes the full time Major League roster. Steamer projections currently project Mazara to get less than 20 plate appearances in 2016 for the Rangers, which will make him a very significant sleeper / risk pick if you decide to draft him in anything other than a dynasty league.
With only 88 plate appearances at AAA under his belt he is going to need at least another year to refine his craft before he can make any sort of impact. But make sure to keep your ear to the ground with this soon to be stud.
He has the ability to rake in any specific direction on the field and is getting incredibly patient at the dish, despite having issues with strikeouts earlier in his career. As a lefty in Texas with their short porch and heavy heat that lets the ball carry, when he does get the call to the show he will likely put on a show of his own immediately.
Today you should be cautious with drafting him unless you are in a really deep league, but a late season pick up as things begin to progress into the summer months is not out of the question at all.