This will be Mazara’s third full season in the majors, but it is easy to forget that he will only be 22 years old come Opening Day. He made my sleeper’s list last year, and he will make it on the list again this year. I saw a lot of promising things in 2017, like his walk rate jumping up 2%, and the fact that he also started hitting the ball in the air more often. His fly ball percentage jumped up 4.5% last season, and his hard contact rate raised nearly 4%. Although there were a lot of promising things coming from the Rangers’ outfielder, I am concern with his swinging strike rate.
Mazara was known more for his contact coming up the minors, but last season his swinging strike rate was at a below average 11.1%. This was 0.7% more than the major league average. It is also worth noting that his plate discipline is not the greatest, but this is not an anomaly from young players like Mazara. Hopefully like many others, he will become more disciplined with age. All this together would explain his drop in batting average last season, but even with his swinging strike rate, it is worth mentioning that his BABIP was at a low .293. I predict 2018 will be the season we see 25 home runs and a batting average over .260 from the budding star.