Can 16-Year-Old Dominican Prospect Nomar Mazara be Worth $5 Million Bonus?

The Texas Rangers have made a splash in the international free agency market, spending a reported $9 million to lock up three Dominican prospects. The most notable agreement they appear to have reached is one with 16-year-old outfielder Nomar Mazara, who will be receiving a $5 million bonus according to Enrique Rojas. That’s record money for an international prospect, beating the $4.25 million the A’s gave pitcher Michael Ynoa in 2008. Before we discuss whether or not he was worth the money, let’s share what we know about him.

According to a scouting report on Baseball America, via MLBTR, Mazara is a 6’5″ left-handed hitter. They say he has the best power of any Latin American hitter, but that he also has a propensity for strikeouts. MLBTR says Rojas said Mazara has the best power of a Latin American hitter since Wily Mo Pena and Miguel Cabrera (though we can’t track that quote down).

So now that you know what scouts are saying about Mazara, I ask you the question: is a 16-year-old prospect worth a $5 million bonus?

Spending $5 million on a 16-year-old from the Dominican is not something teams want to do, but it’s something they have to do to win a bidding war, and obviously the Rangers felt Mazara was worth it. If Mazara has the potential to be a Miguel Cabrera-type hitter, then spending $5 million to have him in their system is worth it.

Here’s the issue: can you even tell how good a player will be when he’s 16?

Players don’t develop at 16 in baseball. It’s even difficult to tell how good prospects are when they’re 18. However, for the elite talents — the guys like Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, or Bryce Harper — you can tell they’re that good at 16. If Mazara is in that class, then he’s worth the money. If he’s not, it really isn’t a huge risk for Texas when you think about it.

Rangers Set Sunglasses at Night Record

We told you on Tuesday that the Texas Rangers were aiming to set a Guinness World Record for most people wearing sunglasses in the dark to celebrate the first day of summer. As you can see, EVERYBODY got in on the act. Though they only needed 424 to beat the previous record, most of the 33,533 fans in attendance reportedly wore their sunglasses. Yup, that includes President George W. Bush, and Nolan Ryan. Frankly, Bush couldn’t have been more cool with the shades on than he was in the second Harold and Kumar. As for Ryan, he earned his cool points with his impressive first pitch thrown last year in the playoffs.

Texas Rangers Will Try for Sunglasses in the Dark Guinness World Record Tonight

The Texas Rangers‘ new owners made it known when they took over the team they would try to replicate the model the Angels employed to become one of the most fan-friendly teams in sports. They did so by cutting beer prices and giving fans parking refunds during last year’s playoffs. Now they’re following another example set by the Angels: they’re trying for a Guinness World Record during Tuesday night’s game against the Astros.

According to the Rangers’ site via Hardball Talk, the team “will attempt to set a world record for the most people wearing sunglasses in the dark on Tuesday to celebrate the first day of summer.” Sunglasses will be handed out to the first 30,000 fans in attendance who will be asked to wear the shades for 10 minutes at the end of the sixth inning.

So how do the Angels come into play? Well they’re the same team that attempted a record for fans wearing a wrestling mask last month and fans wearing snuggies the year before. I like the thought and I think it will be fun, but we all know where they’re getting their ideas.

UPDATE: The Rangers did set the record. Check out the picture.

Texas Rangers Slip and Slide on Tarp During Rain Delay at Camden Yards

The Rangers-Orioles game on Friday night was postponed because of rain, but don’t say the Texas Rangers didn’t make the most out of the poor weather before the game was called:

That video of the Rangers using the tarp as a slip and slide comes courtesy of the team’s bullpen catcher, Josh Frasier. Michael Young seemed to be the ringleader, and Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Adrian Beltre, and a few other seemed to be down. If the team were losing they’d be called fools, but at 6-0, they’re colorful. It’s just another example of the awesomeness that goes on during rain delays of baseball games. If you don’t know what we mean, just check this out.

Thanks to Jimmy Traina on twitter for the heads up.

Adrian Beltre Talking with Texas Rangers, Remains Risky Signing

The Rangers and free agent Adrian Beltre are reportedly close to finalizing a deal to bring the All-Star third baseman to Texas. The deal is said to be worth between $90 and $96 million over six years.

Adrian Beltre first broke into the league with the Dodgers as a teenager. He developed into one of the best young players in the game and peaked in 2004 when he hit .334 with 48 home runs, 32 doubles, and 121 RBIs. It just so happened that that was the final year of his contract with the Dodgers, and he used the monster year to cash in as a free agent.

Beltre headed to the Pacific Northwest to join the Mariners on a five-year $64 million deal. He dropped off in most offensive categories averaging 21 home runs, 34 doubles 79 RBI, and a .261 average with Seattle. The numbers were not bad, but not worth the kind of money he was given. However, you can’t knock his defense — Beltre was in the discussion for the Gold Glove every year and won it in 2007 and 2008.

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Texas Rangers Are World Series Favorites Over the Giants

It’s a bunch of firsts in the World Series this year: the Giants are looking for their first World Series win since moving to San Francisco for the 1958 season while the Rangers are playing in their first World Series in franchise history. Somewhat surprisingly, the team with the least postseason experience is favored in World Series betting odds to bring home the Commissioner’s Trophy.

Both teams pulled off upsets in the LCS with the Rangers dominating the Yankees in all four of their wins while the Giants beat the Phillies by a narrow margin in all four of their victories. The way Cliff Lee, Colby Lewis, and C.J. Wilson are pitching the Rangers are deserving favorites. Lee is now 7-0 in eight career postseason starts, posting a 1.26 ERA and 9.56 K/BB ratio. Because Texas clinched against the Yankees in six games, the studly southpaw is set to start Game 1 against San Francisco.

C.J. Wilson threw a shutout in the ALDS against the Rays and lost both of his starts to the Yankees. Though he looked good in Game 2, he may be surpassed by Colby Lewis in the World Series rotation after getting hit hard in Game 5. Lewis went eight inning of three-hit ball to send Texas to the World Series with a Game 6 win. He’ll have five days of rest should Ron Washington decide to start him in Game 2 on Thursday. Not only has the pitching been consistent for Texas, their offense has been stellar.

Josh Hamilton homered four times against the Yankees winning ALCS MVP honors. He’s swinging the hot stick and the Rangers have so many other offensive weapons it’s hard to say they’ll be shut down. Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz both hit three home runs in the ALDS and are OPSing more than 1.000 in the playoffs. Additionally, both catchers (Bengie Molina and Matt Treanor) have been hitting for Texas, and Elvis Andrus has stolen seven bases and has a hit in every single playoff game. Except for their shaky bullpen, Texas is not showing any weaknesses. I’m going with the favorites to win the World Series in six.

Texas Rangers Appear to Have Genuine Team Chemistry

When the Texas Rangers broke out the ginger ale to celebrate their ALDS win over the Tampa Bay Rays, I thought it was a a bit contrived and done more for show. The more I’ve seen of this team, the more I’m convinced they genuinely love each other. Take the comments from ALCS MVP Josh Hamilton upon receiving the award:

“I love my teammates. I love them so much. Any of these guys could have gotten this award. I’m happy to have them. At the same time … I don’t want to talk about myself, I want to talk about them! WE are the reason we’re here. The chemistry on the team is something like I’ve never know anywhere. All the guys love each other and we support each other.”

That sentiment wasn’t exclusive to Hamilton either; manager Ron Washington said about his team “They’re the greatest bunch of guys I’ve ever worked with in my whole career.”

Texas’ team attitude and the love the players appear to have for each other seems to be contagious. I speculated if winning breeds team chemistry or if it depends on the group of players and how well they get along. While all teams that are winning appear to enjoy themselves, this bunch of guys seems to genuinely like each other and support each other more than the average team. This reality makes them an enjoyable bunch and a team that’s easy to support. As an Angels fan, I can’t stand the Rangers, but because of this reason it’s hard to dislike them.