There was considerable hype surrounding outfielder Nomar Mazara when the Rangers promoted him to the majors in 2016. Mazara was one of baseball’s elite prospects at the time, but three-plus years later, he hasn’t lived up to the billing. While Mazara is now seemingly falling out of favor with the Texas organization, he remains intriguing to other franchises. With the July 31 trade deadline just a week away, interest in Mazara “is picking up,” specifically from teams that could be contenders in 2020, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes.
Although Mazara’s well into his major league career, he’s still just 24 years old. He’s also making a fair $3.3MM salary now and under control through 2021 via arbitration. That’s the good. The bad: Mazara’s more a big name than a big producer at this point.
Mazara smacked 20 home runs in each of the previous three seasons and has totaled 12 this year, but his overall numbers are lackluster. Mazara entered the year a .258/.320/.425 hitter with a subpar 92 wRC+ and just 1.5 fWAR across 1,720 plate appearances. His output this season has been even worse. Through 381 trips to the plate, Mazara has slashed .255/.307/.438 (86 wRC+) and accounted for a replacement-level fWAR (0.0). Southpaws flummoxed the left-handed Mazara during the prior three seasons, which has again been the case in 2019. They’ve held him to a horrific .200/.231/.345 line with 30 strikeouts against four walks thus far.
Not only has Mazara come up short in the batter’s box, but he has left something to be desired as a defender. In almost 4,000 innings of work as an outfielder, Mazara has totaled minus-20 Defensive Runs Saved, though his minus-2.3 Ultimate Zone Rating hasn’t been nearly as woeful. He’s at minus-5 and minus-1.9 in those categories this season, adding a more respectable minus-1 in Statcast’s Outs Above Average metric.
Statcast is also more bullish on Mazara as a hitter. For one, Mazara’s .340 expected weighted on-base average far outpaces his .314 real wOBA. He also ranks either a bit or well above average in hard-hit percentage, expected batting average and expected slugging percentage. But that may not be of much consolation to the Rangers, who have time and again seen Mazara fail to meet expectations over the years. And now that the slumping Rangers are falling out of playoff contention, they could deem Mazara expendable in the coming days.