- Full name Nomar Shamir Mazara
- Born 04/26/1995 in Santo Domingo Centro, Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 6'4" / Wt.: 225 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- Debut 04/10/2016
Organization Prospect Rankings
When the Rangers signed Mazara for a then-record $4.95 million bonus out of the Dominican Republic in 2011, other teams believed his contact troubles made it a massive overpay. Mazara has justified the faith of the Rangers' international scouts, becoming one of the top offensive prospects in baseball who draws praise for both his power and hitting ability. Mazara's swing and approach have evolved since signing, toning down a giant, out-of-control leg kick that caused timing issues and instead employing a smaller toe tap. That adjustment improved his balance, put him in better position to hit and allowed him to see the ball better, with Mazara trimming his strikeout rate while advancing to the upper levels of the minors without sacrificing his power. He's a smart, mature hitter with a good plan at the plate and the ability to make adjustments within an at-bat. Mazara has good bat control, uses the whole field and has the plus raw power to go deep to any part of the park. Once a liability in the outfield, Mazara has become a reliable defender in right field, even if he's a well-below-average runner who lacks first-step quickness and is still prone to youthful mistakes. His best defensive tool is a plus arm with precise accuracy, which helped him collect 16 assists. Mazara projects to be an above-average regular who should hit in the middle of the lineup, likely playing left field with right fielder Shin-Soo Choo under contract through 2020. He will start 2016 in Triple-A and is on the 40-man roster, so he will be up by September, if not sooner.
Mazara set an international amateur record when he signed with the Rangers for $4.95 million on July 2, 2011. Other clubs thought the bonus was well beyond Mazara's value, and even Rangers officials worried after he struggled early. But 2014 was a breakthrough season for Mazara, who reached Double-A Frisco as a 19-year-old in August. Mazara entered pro ball with an exaggerated leg kick, which gave him timing problems once he faced better pitchers. The Rangers never told him specifically to eliminate the leg kick, but gradually he figured out that he needed to get his front foot down earlier. He now has a small toe-tap, which puts him in better position to hit, especially against good fastballs up and in. Mazara still takes a high dose of strikeouts, but he improved his contact rate, walk rate and game power in 2014. He has above-average raw power, which has always been his main draw. Defense was an adventure for Mazara early in his career, and while he's not rangy, he's become a reliable right fielder. He's also improved his throwing and now has a plus arm with good accuracy. Level-headed and mature beyond his years, Mazara has justified the Rangers' early belief in his ability. He has a chance to be an above-average everyday right fielder, and he likely returns to Double-A to open 2015.
The Rangers raised eyebrows around the industry on July 2, 2011, when they lavished a $4.95 million bonus on Mazara, in addition to $650,000 for righthander Pedro Payano and $200,000 for shortstop Crisford Adames, a $5.8 million package deal for three players from Dominican trainer Ivan Noboa. Mazara's bonus set a record for an international amateur player, but the move was seen throughout the industry as an overpay for a player no other team seemed to have as the top player available. Scouts' concerns--particularly about his hit tool--have been justified thus far. Mazara entered pro ball with an exaggerated leg kick that he's worked to tone down, but he still has a lot of movement in his setup and holes in his lefthanded swing that contribute to his tendency to swing and miss in the strike zone. Power was Mazara's calling card as an amateur and his swing still generates loft, but now most scouts give him average raw power with the ability to take balls over the fence to his pull side. The Rangers still consider his power plus. Though he has below-average speed, Mazara's biggest strides have come on defense, where he's gone from raw to adequate in right field and improved his arm strength to a tick-above-average tool. Just 18 at low Class A Hickory in 2013, he could stand to repeat the level in 2014.
The Rangers committed a combined $8.4 million to sign lefty-hitting Dominican outfielders Mazara and Ronald Guzman during the 2011 international signing period. Mazara's international-record $4.95 million bonus may never be surpassed with the spending limits established in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Both Dominicans made their pro debuts as 17-year-olds in the Arizona League last summer and ranked among the circuit's brightest prospects. Rangers officials rave about not only Mazara's tools but also his makeup, maturity and ability to take things in stride. He has taken to a number of routines--weightlifting, long-tossing, power-shagging--that made him one of the system's most improved players. Despite his youth and easy plus raw power, Mazara already shows plate discipline and ranked second in the AZL with 37 walks. The ball jumps off his bat, though he'll need to make more contact to hit for average. Reducing his leg kick would help, as would a more-refined two-strike approach and ability to spoil quality pitches. Mazara has prototype right-field tools with solid range and plus arm strength. While he has fringy speed, he's a solid baserunner. Mazara could patrol right field in Arlington one day, but he may need at least four years to develop his feel for hitting.
The subject of many big-ticket rumors prior to the July 2 international signing frenzy in 2011, Mazara signed for $4.95 million. That set a new record for an international amateur, surpassing the $4.25 million the Athletics spent on Michael Ynoa in 2008. The Rangers thought Mazara offered as much power potential as any Latin American prospect in recent years. He put on epic batting-practice displays that left scouts in awe in the months leading up to his signing. Mazara was showcased judiciously in the Dominican Republic and often didn't face live pitching, so many teams had concerns about his bat and ability to make consistent contact. He employed a massive leg kick reminiscent of Juan Gonzalez as an amateur. The Rangers tried to tame it during instructional league and the change should help Mazara free up his lower half, though it inhibits his ability to track pitches. He has a projectable body with lanky limbs and a strong frame, helping him generate natural loft and backspin. His arm is presently average but could improve as he adds strength to his frame. Texas sees him playing right field, though he's still raw defensively. He's a fringy runner. Club officials laud his makeup. Mazara isn't as advanced as fellow Dominican bonus baby Ronald Guzman and will take longer to develop, but the raw power is exciting. He'll debut in the Arizona League in June.
Minor League Top Prospects
Not only did TL managers and scouts favorably review Mazara's tools, but they boosted their evaluations based on the 20-year-old right fielder's makeup and desire. A year ago, the lefthanded-hitting Mazara shelved a leg kick he used as a timing mechanism--going with a toe tap instead--and lost no power in the tradeoff. He used to be a dead-pull hitter, but he has learned to use the whole field and hit with authority to the off field. His hand-eye coordination has improved and he has learned to beat the shifts employed to neutralize him. He manages the strike zone well for a young power hitter and should hit at least .270. "Just before the (all-star) break, something clicked," one scout said. "The ball just sounds different off his bat."" Mazara has an above-average arm, but his overall defensive value might never be better than average. He doesn't move well laterally to balls hit to his left or right, and he appears tentative running after drives into the gap.
Much like Mookie Betts a year ago, Mazara shelved a leg kick he uses as a timing mechanism, replacing it with a much simpler toe tap. The switch helped Mazara stay back on offspeed pitches better and made him a tougher out. He hit nine home runs and posted a 1.019 OPS in July to earn a promotion to Double-A Frisco. Mazara has prototype right field tools with above-average power potential to go with a potentially average hit tool. He showed improvement defensively as well, as he's much less tentative running down balls. His above-average arm fits well in right field.
Mazara turned 18 three weeks into the season and was one of the youngest prospects on a Hickory team loaded down with them. His youth was evident, especially early in the year, but Mazara made steady improvements both at the plate and in the field. As the season progressed, Mazara produced better and better at-bats, and the lefthanded hitter went the other way when teams tried to stay away from him. In right field, he became better at staying on-line with his throws, which aided the carry and accuracy of his tick-above-average arm. ?He may have given us the most consistent at-bats in the second half of the season,? Hickory?s Ragsdale said. ?He doesn?t give away at-bats.? Mazara has plenty of growing to do, which should enhance the tick-below-average power he has now. His stats didn?t reflect it this year, but he doesn?t look helpless against lefthanders.
The Rangers signed Mazara for $4.95 million in 2011, setting a record that may never be broken with the new limits on bonuses for international amateurs. Mazara and fellow Dominican Ronald Guzman, who signed for $3.45 million on the same day, both started their pro careers in the AZL this summer at the age of 17. Rangers coaches worked with Mazara on his hitting mechanics, reducing his leg kick. He still tends to swing and miss a lot at the plate, but he also drew 37 walks in 54 games and the ball jumps off his bat when he makes contact. He's a solid right fielder with average speed and plus arm strength, though he's still very raw defensively.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Outfield Arm in the South Atlantic League in 2014