What Does The Nomar Mazara Promotion Really Mean?
Rangers 5-million dollar man Nomar Mazara is on fire. A triple slash line of .282/.389/.537 across his final 40 South Atlantic League games earned the 19-year old a promotion. But instead of moving to High-A, Texas pushed the teenager to Double-A Frisco. Is this a bold move for a prospect ready to challenge elite status, or a Rangers organization doing its best to protect every asset?
Mazara is a familiar face at ROTOscouting. Recently, Chris Blessing produced a scouting report on the outfielder after looks across multiple series. In 2013, he was discussed with other Hickory outfielders including Nick Williams and Lewis Brinson after another multi-game look. Instead of loud tools, Nomar Mazara provides a well-rounded skill set on offense. With an understanding of the strike zone, power and hitting ability, he’s the best candidate for a Double-A promotion over talented, but flawed outfield prospects in Myrtle Beach.
In general, a team will promote a prospect one level, forcing a non-prospect starter into another role. For as much as prospect followers want to believe every player has a chance to make it to the show, the reality for most teams is a 20-plus man roster assembled so a small number of prospects have people to play with. The Rangers are in an uncommon situation at the moment with three legitimate prospects in their High-A outfield.
Lewis Brinson – Blessed with a Cameron Maybin/Dexter Fowler frame, the outfielder opened 2014 in Hickory working to make adjustments after a 21 home run, 191 strikeout 2013. Early on, he presented as the same Brinson who’s 20 hit tool weighed down an otherwise impressive set of tools. As with many athletes turned baseball players, predicting when the tools will click is tricky business. For Brinson, the switch flipped, resulting in a .335/.405/.579 triple slash line in the South Atlantic League prior to promotion. In his first 23 games for Myrtle Beach (High-A), right-handed hitter has struggled to a .240/.284/.333 triple slash line. It’s been a productive year for Lewis Brinson, but pushing him to Double-A to accommodate Nomar Mazara is a recipe for disaster.
Chris Garia – In spring training 2013, Garia’s wiry frame, impressive athleticism and birth place (Curacao) left a lasting impression. Expecting him to spend 2013 in Hickory, Garia’s absence on the roster was easily explained given the Rangers are chock full of outfield prospects with tools. Instead of a full season debut, the outfielder began the season in extended spring training working on baseball skills before spending time in both the Northwest and South Atlantic Leagues. He struggled in 2o13, but was aggressively pushed to High-A for the start of the 2014 season anyway. He’s thrived. Across 90 games, his .294/.354/.401 triple slash line comes with 36 stolen bases in 47 attempts. Its been a wildly successful year for the 21-year old, but it’s wise to treat him with kid gloves given he had 26 games of full season baseball experience prior to this season.
Nick Williams – The Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde of the Rangers system, Williams presents with excellent hitting skills and terrible plate discipline and exemplified by a .299/.352/.493 triple slash line in spite of a 109/19 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Plus, Williams has makeup concerns which will make the Rangers think twice about exposing the top-100 prospect at the Double-A level. Does Nick Williams have the ability to rake his way through Double-A? Yes, but it’s never wise to risk exposure when it has the potential to wreck a player mentally. Plus, it’s an opportunity for the Rangers organization to send Williams a message. Joey Gallo improved his plate discipline and was promoted to Double-A. Nomar Mazara did too and will take the field in Frisco. Jordan Akins did not and is back playing football. Williams needs to earn the keys in order to drive in the fast lane.
Why Nomar Mazara?
With first hand scouting information highlighting the good and bad of the current Myrtle Beach outfield, reasoning behind the Mazara promotion becomes more clear. To make it crystal, contacts inside and outside the Rangers organization repeatedly refer to Nomar Mazara as an “eight makeup guy” meaning his character traits as a human being shine even brighter than his talents on the baseball field. From working to learn English at a hurried pace to handling adversity, Mazara is considered mature beyond his years. Plus, Mazara has walked 57 times versus 72 from the Myrtle Beach outfield prospects combined.
When compared to other candidates for a Double-A promotion, the talented Nomar Mazara is the safest player of the bunch. If he struggles in the final month of the season, he’s mature enough to shake it off and not allow it to stunt the development curve. Additionally, a young player who walks at the lower levels is less likely to crash and burn. For organizations, promotions are not only about the best player, but what’s best for the system as a whole. Nomar Mazara is an example of this in action.
5 Aug 2014 / Mike Newman / 2
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