The Texas Rangers farm system got the power outfield bats it had lacked in the form of Nomar Mazara and Ronald Guzman. The Dominican outfielders signed with the Rangers Saturday on the opening day of the international signing period.
Mazara, 16, set the record for largest signing bonus by an international free agent at $5 million trumping the $4.25 million that Oakland gave Michael Ynoa in 2008. He is said to be the best power prospect out of Latin America since Miguel Cabrera...pretty high praise.
Jason Parks, a writer for Baseball Prospectus, said Mazara has "gargantuan power potential."
Guzman, also 16, throws and bats left handed and projects to left field due to his below-average speed and arm. But what he lacks in those areas, he makes up for with his bat.
Parks also said, "Just spoke to a scout who said Ronald Guzman was the top positional talent available in LA (Latin America), with plus hit/power potential. No brainer."
Guzman was also said to be the Boston Red Sox top target on the market. As a Rangers fan, it feels pretty nice being able to outbid teams like the Red Sox, and it just goes to show that this organization will do whatever is needed to acquire top talent.
When the Rangers passed on Dallas-area prep star Josh Bell, many wondered why the Rangers were shying away from the best talent on the board. If anyone had a chance to lure him away from college, it would have been the hometown Rangers, many thought.
Apparently Jon Daniels knew what he was doing. The money that would've been allotted to one 18-year-old was instead given to two 16-year-olds.
With just two signings the Rangers farm system has finally restocked legitimate power bats that have been absent since the departure of Justin Smoak last July.
Add Engel Beltre, Leonys Martin and Zach Cone, the supplemental-round pick out of the University of Georgia, and the Rangers have essentially turned a weakness into a strength in a relatively short time.
A farm system already loaded with talent got much better Saturday, but only time will tell what the future holds for Mazara, Guzman and the entire Rangers organization.
One last quote from Jason Parks:
"The system is getting stupid with talent."