as far as i can tell my shift key is broken, so rather than try to fight it and get frustrated as all get out, i’m just going to roll with it like this and see what happens. please disregard all the lower case lettering and refusal to capitalize proper nouns.
this blog is about nomar mazara, a 24 year-old baseball player you probably don’t know about. since he was 16 years old he has played in the texas rangers organization, a professional baseball club located in arlington, texas. that baseball club traded mazara on tuesday night — around the same time gerrit cole signed with the yankees — so you probably won’t hear much about it.
i don’t have a lot to say about mazara or the trade, really. i just feel compelled in moments like these to remember the player, who was a true homegrown prospect, whom the rangers signed big money to acquire when he was an amateur, and who provided me to hope for something great. nomar mazara never quite lived up to his promise, and the rangers never really won anything while he was there. so that’s sad.
mazara was part of a collection of three monstrous latin american prospects. it was he, 1b ronald guzman, and outfielder jairo beras. the rangers spent 13 million dollars on those three guys in 2011-’12, which included an investigation into the birth certificate of beras, and so there was much optimism that those three guys were going to eventually become part of the nucleus in arlington. as it turned out beras transitioned from outfielder to pitcher before washing out of the organization, mazara got traded, and the massive guzman looks to be a light-hitting place filler at first base. in short, none of them really turned out to be what we thought they would be.
despite some flashes of brilliance, mazara never panned out. he sports a career triple slash line of .261/.320/.435, good for 1.7 career fWAR. he showcased above average plate disciple and well above average raw power, but for some reason it never really translated into full season success. in about 2,000 career plate appearances he hit 79 home runs and, according to the advanced metric wRC plus, was about eight percentage points below being a league average hitter.
he never added up, basically. he is the football equivalent to a guy who excels at the combine, has all the skills and looks the part, but underperformed when the games actually counted.
it’s a new day for the texas rangers. they are moving into a new stadium next year. and for me, as someone who used to look to the future, back when the rangers’ minor league system was filled to the brim with names like mazara and beras and guzman, infielders jurickson profar and rougned odor, outfielders lewis brinson and nick williams, it was easy to picture a future where all the rangers needed was a little pitching to bring them to the promised land.
most of the guys are out of the organization now. the only ones who are left, odor and guzman, have their own careers in relative jeopardy. baseball offers plenty of tough pills to swallow, but it’s times like these that i think back to what jason parks used to say when he was writing for baseball prospectus. prospects will break your heart.
i have nothing but love for nomar mazara and i hope he can resurrect his career with the chicago white sox. i mean, he still is only 24 years old. a couple tweaks to his swing and i’m sure he’ll be an all-star in no time, just enough to get the overreaction types in the rangers fan base to talk all types of nonsense about why we shouldn’t have traded him.
in the meantime, i’m kind of optimistic about the direction the rangers are heading in. shocker, i know.