Nomar Mazara Madness
It is imperative to always be thinking years ahead in dynasty formats. Placing a greater emphasis on future value, especially on prospects, will help you stay one step ahead of the rest of your league. Acquiring a prospect on the precipice of a major breakout that will provide surplus value down the road when their value skyrockets is the name of the game in dynasty leagues.
Texas Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara will be only 20 years old this season, and unlike older prospects on the verge of making their debuts, the hype hasn’t permeated the consciousness of mainstream fantasy owners, especially those who aren’t focusing beyond 2015. A monster campaign at Double-A from Mazara this summer will spark a meteoric ascent into the ranks of the top prospects in all of baseball. The time to invest is now.
San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller, star of the 2014 Winter Meetings and certified trade wizard, was the architect of the largest international signing bonus in history ($4.95 million) that netted the Rangers the Dominican Republic native back in 2011. Mazara finally started to put it all together last season, when he batted .264/.358/.470 with 19 home runs in 461 appearances at Single-A Hickory before mashing at Double-A Frisco, hitting .306/.381/.518 with three home runs in 97 plate appearances to close out the year.
Most importantly, Mazara cut down on the strikeouts last season, posting a 21.5% strikeout rate, along with a 12.4% walk rate in Single-A. He didn’t look overmatched in a brief stint at Double-A as evidenced by his 22.7% strikeout rate and 9.3% walk rate. Mazara is going to strike out a fair amount when he does reach the Majors, but in today’s diminished offensive environment, the power is legitimate and will more than make up for a mediocre average from a fantasy standpoint.
The immediate comparison that surfaced the first time I watched Mazara’s swing was Corey Dickerson of the Colorado Rockies. Prototypical left-handed corner outfielders with an intoxicating blend of size and raw athleticism complementing swings that ooze raw power potential.
Mazara is a bit taller (6-foot-4) than Dickerson (6-foot-1), but both possess similar offensive profiles, including struggles against southpaws. As you can see from the screenshots above, their swings are nearly identical, especially in their slight uppercut nature, which helps lift the ball to right field, and is perfectly suited for their respective home parks. I chose to highlight the similarities between their high leg kicks, a timing mechanism, right before the pitchers delivery, because it’s what caught my attention in the first place. Here are the full videos, feel free to compare for yourself:
Given what we have seen from the 26 year old Dickerson over the past few years in Colorado, its not a stretch to say that Mazara could have a similar impact in another hitter friendly park in Arlington.
As The Dynasty Guru’s benevolent dictator/fearless leader Bret Sayre wrote in the Baseball Prospectus 2015 Annual, “the last time the organization skipped a teenage prospect over the Carolina League, it was Jurickson Profar, which gives some insight into what the organization thinks of the young outfielder.”
With a nod to David Dahl, Steven Piscotty and possibly Raimel Tapia or Jesse Winker, Mazara has a chance to be the top outfield prospect in baseball by this time next season, if he continues to improve at such a young age. Prospects on the rise in the low minors, like Mookie Betts last season, tend to move quickly, so the time to make a move and acquire Mazara is now. It’s prospects who ascend quickly that not only help fantasy owners in dynasty leagues win championships, but remain there long-term. Anything is possible (pour one out for Marcus Stroman today), but Mazara looks like a budding fantasy superstar.