ARLINGTON -- Dominican 16-year-old Nomar Mazara took batting practice before the Rangers faced the Orioles on Wednesday. He officially signed after passing a physical. While the Rangers did not discuss terms of the contract, sources say Mazara agreed to sign on July 2 for over $5 million. One of the main reasons he signed with the Rangers has been Texas' aggressiveness in sending Dominican players to the Majors.
"I see that they develop all the young players," Mazara said through a translator. "They make them into Major League players, and they come soon. They come quick, and [the Rangers] stay with their own players." This is a trend that has become quite prevalent after the Rangers' success with Elvis Andrus and Neftali Feliz, along with others, such as Jurickson Profar in the farm system. "Starting two years ago, one of the things we set out to do was become a force on the international scene," Rangers senior director of player development A.J. Preller said. "I see it when I'm out there, I see it when I'm talking to parents and families and people. "They know that the farm system has been considered one of the better ones in the game, and you see kids want to be a part of it." It reaped big benefits as Mazara and Ronald Guzman were arguably the most sought-after international prospects this year, and both of them signed with the Rangers. General manager Jon Daniels said that Mazara would be heading back to the Dominican Republic to compete in a Rangers program that has already been set up in that country. Mazara put on a show for Rangers brass during his session, routinely getting the ball to the Rangers Ballpark warning track, despite being just 16 years old. "You could see him growing," Rangers manager Ron Washington, who was in attendance, said. "He might end up being a left-handed Juan Gonzalez. That wouldn't be bad. You can see that he's going to pick it up in the [triceps], the [biceps], the legs. He's going to pick it up and grow into a man. Just got to make sure he doesn't grow into a fat man."