April 17, 2021

Nomar Mazara Is Hitting Balls in the Air (Yes, It’s Early April) (FanGraphs)

It’s appropriate to begin this post with a caveat: Today is April 6, and the Detroit Tigers have played all of four games. As such, any statistical snapshot is of the small-sample-size variety and should be taken with a large grain of salt.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at what Nomar Mazara has done over four games — or more specifically, what he hasn’t done. Through his first 13 plate appearances, the perennial breakout candidate has a .538 slugging percentage, and only one of his six ball-in-play outs has come on a groundball. In his last eight times up, Mazara has gone 1B, 1B, 1B, HR, F-8, F-6, F-8, F-8. Moreover, the penultimate of those fly-outs, per StatCast, travelled 421 feet to the deepest reaches of Comerica Park.

Again, a small sample, tiny even. Still, might these early results portend the breakout that people have been waiting for? Is the 6-foot-4, 215-pound outfielder finally going to bid farewell to a high groundball rate — Mazara’s career mark is a worm-killing 49.4% — and begin driving balls into the air with some semblance of consistency?

With the caveat (there’s that word again) that we’ve been fooled before, Mazara might…

Read “Nomar Mazara Is Hitting Balls in the Air (Yes, It’s Early April)” at FanGraphs