Coming into the new season, players to watch for the Rangers to have great seasons included Joey Gallo, Elvis Andrus, Yu Darvish to name others. A name that could’ve been flirted with a breakout candidate but no real experience in the majors was Nomar Mazara.
After a stellar first week in which he batted .417, had a slugging percentage of .750, an OPS of 1.212, and collected 10 hits, Mazara earned the first AL Player of the Week honor of the season. Since his sizzling hot start to the season he has cooled down a little bit but still is second on the team in batting average at .259, second in on-base percentage at .310, tied for the team-lead for hits with 21, and leads the team with 17 RBIs (which is also tied for the American League lead for RBIs)and is currently on pace to hit over 100 RBIs.
Coming into the majors as one of the best hitting prospects over a year ago, being compared to the likes of Freddie Freeman with his prowess on the left side of the plate and his ability to spread hits all over the ballpark with his rare hitting power, he proceeded to hit 20 homers with a .266 batting average in just 145 games. He also garnered AL Rookie of the Month honors for both April and May and finished 5th in the voting for AL Rookie of the Year so coming into 2017 a lot was expected of Mazara amongst the Rangers organization and amongst their fanbase, but after such a hot start to the year, he is starting to gain national recognition (as evidenced by his AL Player of the Week award).
At just 21 years of age, the Dominican-born is yet to hit his prime and still has a ways to go in this league before he can affirm his status as a high-profile name in the sport. The Rangers are currently 9-11 and third in the AL West standings as the first 3 weeks have passed already in the season but a good way to become a household for Mazara is if the Rangers start to turn things around and kick it into gear and make the playoffs because performing well in October will always make someone turn into a household name, e.g. Reggie Jackson (Mr. October) and Derek Jeter.