Frisco is where the stars come out to play

Per infamous D-FW hack, Gerry Fraley, prospect Jorge Alfaro has been promoted to Double-A Frisco. Last week Alfaro was named the Carolina League player of the week. 

Also, according to our favorite Rangers farm system guru -- Tepid Participation -- Nomar Mazara will be making the jump to Frisco as well, per his sources. This is particularly surprising, because Nomar has played the entire season at Low-A Hickory, meaning he will be skipping High-A Myrtle Beach altogether. The last Ranger prospect I remember making the leap from Low-A to Double-A was Martin Perez, with the thought being that the front office wanted to shield him from the hitter-friendly confines of the California League (back when Bakersfield was Texas's High-A affiliate).

Jorge Alfaro's ascension to the Texas League should come as no surprise; he's been on the short list of top-flight Ranger prospects -- along with Perez and Jurickson Profar and Joey Gallo -- since he was an 18 year-old. This season in the Carolina League Alfaro has posted a .261/.318/.440 (118 wRC+) triple slash line with 13 HRs, which isn't all that remarkable until you factor in that he's a catcher who projects as a plus defender. Also, he's still only 21. 

Nomar Mazara is more interesting, because even though he's not in the same prospect class as Alfaro, his 2014 success has seemingly come out of the blue. As a 16 year-old, Mazara was given what, at the time, was the largest international free agent signing bonus in history ($5 million), but it's taken a few years for that initial promise to be realized. 

In the Arizona Rookie League in 2012, Mazara hit .264/.383/.448 (123 wRC+) with 6 HRs in about 250 plate appearances, a brilliant showing for a 17 year-old seeing his first action in the states. Then last year, having received the aggressive assignment to play at Low-A Hickory as an 18 year-old, Nomar experienced his share of troubles, which is expected at that age. He finished the season at a clip of .236/.310/.382 (101 wRC+) with 13 HRs in just north of 500 PAs, though his K rate (25.9%) left a bit to be desired. Still, he was only 18, so maybe I'm greedy for expecting more.

Then, this year -- repeating Low-A -- Mazara was slow out of the gates. After a lackluster showing in April (.205/.293/.307), he followed with a similarly mundane May (.238/.302/.410), though he carried with him a respectable 45:20 strikeout-to-walk ratio in those two months, suggesting his BABIP probably wasn't doing him any favors. 

Since June 1st, however, the light has come on. Something has clicked. Over the last two months, Nomar Mazara has been an absolute terror on Single-A pitching:

June (117 PAs) -- .311/.407/.544, 5 HRs, 26:16 K-to-BB

July (112 PAs) -- .287.402/.617, 9 HRs, 25:18 K-to-BB

All told, on the year he's batting .264/.358/.470 (129 wRC+) with 19 HRs and equally improved strikeout and walk rates (21.5% and 12.4%, respectively). A couple months ago the thought that Mazara would be playing up at Frisco in August was unfathomable; now it looks like where he belongs. At least in the eyes of Jason Parks. 

With the additions of Mazara and Alfaro, Frisco boasts arguably Minor League Baseball's most talent-rich club. Along with that tandem is top prospect Joey Gallo, newly acquired RHP Jake Thompson, starters Alec Asher and Chi-Chi Gonzalez, and potential bullpen weapons Wilmer Font and Keone Kela. With the exception of the precocious Nomar Mazara, to varying degrees of big league impact, all of these guys could see time at the show as early as next summer.