The Rangers have signed Dominican outfielder Nomar Mazara. Terms were not immediately available, but ESPN's Enrique Rojas reports that the bonus is expected to be around $5 million, which would be a new record for an international amateur, surpassing the $4.25 million the Athletics spent on Michael Ynoa in 2008.
Mazara, who is 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, is a 16-year-old lefty with the best raw power in Latin America. A $5 million price tag was rumored throughout the industry leading up to July 2, leaving many international scouting directors stunned that any team would pay that price. ESPN also reported that the Rangers will likely sign Dominican righthander Pedro Payano, who like Mazara is also represented by Ivan Noboa, for a bonus of $500,000-$600,000.
Here is part of Baseball America's scouting report on Mazara from yesterday:
"He may have the most raw power in Latin America, with batting practice shots that leave scouts in awe. He employs a big leg kick and generates good weight transfer in BP with excellent loft and backspin. He has a projectable body with lanky limbs on a large, strong frame. The only thing that can match Mazara's epic power are his equally epic ability to rack up strikeouts.
Mazara, who is represented by Ivan Noboa, doesn't play in any of the major leagues that have popped up in the Dominican Republic and has been showcased judiciously. Several scouts have said Mazara showed up at workouts, took BP then left without facing live pitching. Those who have been seen him in games say his hit tool is nowhere near as advanced as his power. He has a massive leg kick that works for him in BP when he's in a rhythm, but it can be difficult for him to maintain his balance and timing. He's a corner outfielder with an average arm, but any team that signs him will be banking on his bat."
The Rangers today also spent $3.5 million on another lefthanded 16-year-old Dominican outfielder, Ronald Guzman, widely considered one of the top hitters in Latin America.
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