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…