ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have reached agreements with a pair of 16-year-old Dominican outfielders -- Nomar Mazara and Ronald Guzman -- according to Major League sources.Mazara reportedly agreed to a signing bonus of over $5 million, and could be the power-hitting outfield prospect that the Rangers have been missing from their otherwise highly productive farm system. Guzman, a lefty hitter with raw power, agreed to a bonus worth $3.5 million. Both deals are pending physicals. The Rangers have not announced the signings.
"It's our policy not to address specific players until they've signed contracts and passed physicals," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "However, it's fair to say we planned to be active in the international amateur market this year, consistent with our goal of adding the best talent possible in all arenas."Our scouts have put in a lot of work to put us in position to do just that, and ownership continues to support us. I can't say enough about both groups' commitment to seeing us win." According to one scout, Mazara has shown serious power in batting practice, although he has a big leg kick that may need correction. He has a strong arm but possesses average speed at best, and likely projects as a corner outfielder.
Guzman, who graduated from high school on the day of his signing, also has raw power. He won the Home Run Derby in the Dominican Prospect League last year and also projects as a corner outfielder.The scouting report on Guzman is that he has a tall, thin frame with long arms and legs, and that he does everything fluidly. He has a smooth and effortless stroke at the plate and will flash power that comes from leverage more than bat speed. Guzman uses the whole field and keeps the bat in the strike zone for a long time. He's a below-average runner, profiling best in left field, but throws well enough to be passable in right if needed. According to one scout, Guzman has pretty good instincts and is an intelligent player.
These are the second and third big investment the Rangers have made in the international amateur free agent market. Earlier this season, they signed Cuban outfielder Leonys Martin to a $5.5 million contract, and he recently appeared in the Texas League All-Star Game.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Jonathan Mayo contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.