St. Louis Cardinals: Five low cost high reward free agents to sign

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 16: Maikel Franco #7 of the Kansas City Royals during an at-bat against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 16, 2020, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 16: Maikel Franco #7 of the Kansas City Royals during an at-bat against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 16, 2020, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 6
Next
St. Louis Cardinals
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Nomar Mazara

Entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility, Nomar Mazara is likely to earn less than he did in year one ($3.3 million) and year two ($5.5 million). The 25-year-old right fielder notched career lows in batting average, OBP, and SLG in 2020 with the Chicago White Sox, along with a career-high 29.5 K%. These numbers came as a surprise as he was far more impactful throughout his previous four seasons with the Texas Rangers.

Mazara was Texas’ #2 prospect in 2015 and the 14th-ranked MLB prospect. He went 3-for-4 with a home run in his major league debut as a 20-year-old in 2016. Scouts saw superstar potential in his effortless power, ability to use all fields, and stunning maturity at a young age.

Unfortunately, Mazara hasn’t soared at the highest level like many had predicted. He’s struggled to adjust at the plate, timing is often an issue for him, and his game has not adapted to key sabermetrics. His GB% surpassed 50% for the second time in his career in 2020, and his FB:HR ratio fell from 17.8% in 2019 to a frightening 4.3% in 2020. It’s safe to say he has not embraced launch angle like many of his peers have.

At the same time, Mazara’s barrel percentage and hard-hit percentage have kept pace or exceeded those of Mookie Betts, Nolan Arenado, and Francisco Lindor.

Under the right tutelage, Nomar Mazara could escape his hitting faults and become a middle-of-the-order force. He’s only 25 years old; there is plenty of time left for him to tap into his potential. He showed signs with the Rangers, but maybe the St. Louis Cardinals can be the club that fully enlightens him.